Mass Attitude Quotes

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Constantly exposing yourself to popular culture and the mass media will ultimately shape your reality tunnel in ways that are not necessarily conducive to achieving your Soul Purpose and Life Calling. Modern society has generally ‘lost the plot’. Slavishly following its false gods and idols makes no sense in a spiritually aware life.
Anthon St. Maarten
I like what I like and not what I'm supposed to like because of mass rating. And I very much dislike the things I don't like.
Erle Stanley Gardner (The Case Of The Careless Cupid (Perry Mason, #79))
Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
The more I got to know people, the more I realized we were all just a bunch of frightened idiots walking around in the dark, bumping into each other and panicking for no reason at all. So I started turning on a light. I stopped thinking of people as mobs. Hordes. Faceless masses. I tried, really hard, to stop assuming I had people figured out, especially before I’d ever even spoken to them. I wasn’t great at this—and I’d probably have to work at it for the rest of my life—but I tried. I really did. It scared me to realize that I’d done to others exactly what I hadn’t wanted them to do to me: I made sweeping statements about who I thought they were and how they lived their lives; and I made broad generalizations about what I thought they were thinking, all the time.
Tahereh Mafi (A Very Large Expanse of Sea)
Our historical experience teaches us that men imitate one another, that their attitudes are statistically calculable, their opinions manipulable, and that man is therefore less an individual (a subject) than an element in a mass.
Milan Kundera (Encounter)
Rowdy, hopped-up college kids pass us in an endless, noisy blur like they're being mass produced or squeezed out of a tube - guys skulking in their T-shirts and cargo shorts, girls in low-slung jeans and flip-flops, pimples and breasts and tattoos and lipstick and legs and bra straps, and cigarettes; a colorful, sexy melange. I feel old and tired and I just want to be them again, want to be young and stupid, filled with angst and attitude and unbridled lust. Can I have a do-over, please? I swear to God I'll make a real go of it this time.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
Apathy is the door to ignorance. Empathy is the door to wisdom.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The mass of your visions depends on the size of your dreams and distance they can cover within a given period of your life.
Israelmore Ayivor
If you're like us -mothers with an attitude problem- you may be getting increasingly irritable about this chasm between the ridiculous, honey-hued ideals of perfect motherhood in the mass media and the reality of mothers' everyday lives.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
Self-denial can lock women into a smug and critical condescension to other, less devout women. According to Appel, cult members develop..."an attitude of moral superiority, a contempt for secular laws, rigidity of thought, and the diminution of regard for the individual." A premium is placed on conformity to the cult group; deviation is penalized. "Beauty" is derivative; conforming to the Iron Maiden [an intrinsically unattainable standard of beauty that is then used to punish women physically and psychologically for failure to achieve and conform to it] is "beautiful." The aim of beauty thinking, about weight or age, is rigid female thought. Cult members are urged to sever all ties with the past: "I destroyed all my fat photographs!"; "It's a new me!
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Recognise instant self-gratification for what it is. Resist the temptation to grab for material objects like the perfect house, the coolest clothes or the hottest car. The if I just had X, I would be happy syndrome is a mass delusion. When you look for happiness in mere objects, they are never enough. Look around. Look within.
Nick Vujicic
Liberalism - it is well to recall this today - is the supreme form of generosity; it is the right which the majority concedes to minorities and hence it is the noblest cry that has ever resounded in this planet. It announces the determination to share existence with the enemy; more than that, with an enemy that is weak. It was incredible that the human species should have arrived at so noble an attitude, so paradoxical, so refined, so acrobatic, so antinatural. Hence, it is not to be wondered at that this same humanity should soon appear anxious to get rid of it. It is a discipline too difficult and complex to take firm root on earth.
José Ortega y Gasset (The Revolt of the Masses)
Being genius does not necessarily mean knowing it all or having the highest academic qualification; but a persons ability to apply wisdom and common sense to common things in a distinctive manner and courageously, exhibiting the latent deft to the admiration of the masses
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah (Distinctive Footprints Of Life: where are you heading towards?)
How does paying people more money make you more money? It works like this. The more you pay your workers, the more they spend. Remember, they're not just your workers- they're your consumers, too. The more they spend their extra cash on your products, the more your profits go up. Also, when employees have enough money that they don't have to live in constant fear of bankruptcy, they're able to focus more on their work- and be more productive. With fewer personal problems and less stress hanging over them, they'll lose less time at work, meaning more profits for you. Pay them enough to afford a late model car (i.e. one that works), and they'll rarely be late for work. And knowing that they'll be able to provide a better life for their children will not only give them a more positive attitude, it'll give them hope- and an incentive to do well for the company because the better the company does, the better they'll do. Of course, if you're like most corporations these days- announcing mass layoffs right after posting record profits- then you're already hemorrhaging the trust and confidence of your remaining workforce, and your employees are doing their jobs in a state of fear. Productivity will drop. That will hurt sales. You will suffer. Ask the people at Firestone: Ford has alleged that the tire company fired its longtime union employees, then brought in untrained scab workers who ended up making thousands of defective tires- and 203 dead customers later, Firestone is in the toilet.
Michael Moore (Stupid White Men)
If life is a movie most people would consider themselves the star of their own feature. Guys might imagine they're living some action adventure epic. Chicks maybe are in a rose-colored fantasy romance. And homosexuals are living la vida loca in a fabulous musical. Still others may take the indie approach and think of themselves as an anti-hero in a coming of age flick. Or a retro badass in an exploitation B movie. Or the cable man in a very steamy adult picture. Some people's lives are experimental student art films that don't make any sense. Some are screwball comedies. Others resemble a documentary, all serious and educational. A few lives achieve blockbuster status and are hailed as a tribute to the human spirit. Some gain a small following and enjoy cult status. And some never got off the ground due to insufficient funding. I don't know what my life is but I do know that I'm constantly squabbling with the director over creative control, throwing prima donna tantrums and pouting in my personal trailor when things don't go my way. Much of our lives is spent on marketing. Make-up, exercise, dieting, clothes, hair, money, charm, attitude, the strut, the pose, the Blue Steel look. We're like walking billboards advertising ourselves. A sneak peek of upcoming attractions. Meanwhile our actual production is in disarray--we're over budget, doing poorly at private test screenings and focus groups, creatively stagnant, morale low. So we're endlessly tinkering, touching up, editing, rewriting, tailoring ourselves to best suit a mass audience. There's like this studio executive in our heads telling us to cut certain things out, make it "lighter," give it a happy ending, and put some explosions in there too. Kids love explosions. And the uncompromising artist within protests: "But that's not life!" Thus the inner conflict of our movie life: To be a palatable crowd-pleaser catering to the mainstream... or something true to life no matter what they say?
Tatsuya Ishida
There are only four ways in which a ruling group can fall from power. Either it is conquered from without, or it governs so inefficiently that the masses are stirred to revolt, or it allows a strong and discontented Middle Group to come into being, or it loses its own self-confidence and willingness to govern. These causes do not operate singly, and as a rule all four of them are present in some degree. A ruling class which could guard against all of them would remain in power permanently. Ultimately the determining factor is the mental attitude of the ruling class itself.
George Orwell
When you grow and rise above the masses, you will always become a target. Just as the flower grows above the grass, it becomes a target for the nourishment of the rays of sunshine, it also becomes a target to be cut down.
Sumner M. Davenport
In the disturbances caused by scarcity of food, the mob goes in search of bread, and the means it employs is generally to wreck the bakeries. This may serve as a symbol of the attitude adopted, on a greater and more complicated scale, by the masses of today towards the civilization by which they are supported … Civilization is not "just here," it is not self-supporting.
José Ortega y Gasset
We are in the middle of an immense metamorphosis here, a metamorphosis which will, it is devoutly to be hoped, rob us of our myths and give us our history, which will destroy our attitudes and give us back our personalities. The mass culture, in the meantime, can only reflect our chaos: and perhaps we had better remember that this chaos contains life—and a great transforming energy.
James Baldwin (The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings)
The relatively new trouble with mass society is perhaps even more serious, but not because of the masses themselves, but because this society is essentially a consumers’ society where leisure time is used no longer for self-perfection or acquisition of more social status, but for more and more consumption and more and more entertainment…To believe that such a society will become more “cultured” as time goes on and education has done its work, is, I think, a fatal mistake. The point is that a consumers’ society cannot possibly know how to take care of a world and the things which belong exclusively to the space of worldly appearances, because its central attitude toward all objects, the attitude of consumption, spells ruin to everything it touches.
Hannah Arendt (Between Past and Future)
Suppose we were planning to impose a dictatorial regime upon the American people—the following preparations would be essential: 1. Concentrate the populace in megalopolitan masses so that they can be kept under close surveillance and where, in case of trouble, they can be bombed, burned, gassed or machine-gunned with a minimum of expense and waste. 2. Mechanize agriculture to the highest degree of refinement, thus forcing most of the scattered farm and ranching population into the cities. Such a policy is desirable because farmers, woodsmen, cowboys, Indians, fishermen and other relatively self-sufficient types are difficult to manage unless displaced from their natural environment. 3. Restrict the possession of firearms to the police and the regular military organizations. 4. Encourage or at least fail to discourage population growth. Large masses of people are more easily manipulated and dominated than scattered individuals. 5. Continue military conscription. Nothing excels military training for creating in young men an attitude of prompt, cheerful obedience to officially constituted authority. 6. Divert attention from deep conflicts within the society by engaging in foreign wars; make support of these wars a test of loyalty, thereby exposing and isolating potential opposition to the new order. 7. Overlay the nation with a finely reticulated network of communications, airlines and interstate autobahns. 8. Raze the wilderness. Dam the rivers, flood the canyons, drain the swamps, log the forests, strip-mine the hills, bulldoze the mountains, irrigate the deserts and improve the national parks into national parking lots. Idle speculations, feeble and hopeless protest. It was all foreseen nearly half a century ago by the most cold-eyed and clear-eyed of our national poets, on California’s shore, at the end of the open road. Shine, perishing republic.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
The first serious consciousness of Nature's gesture - her attitude towards life-took form then as a phantasm, a nightmare, all insanity of force. For the first time, the stage-scenery of the senses collapsed; the human mind felt itself stripped naked, vibrating in a void of shapeless energies, with resistless mass, colliding, crushing, wasting, and destroying what these same energies had created and labored from eternity to perfect.
Henry Adams (The Education of Henry Adams)
Racial attitudes—not crime rates or likelihood of victimization—are an important determinant of white support for 'get tough on crime' and antiwelfare measures.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Clint stared down at him. He was wearing what appeared to be a massive, lopsided and jewel-encrusted crown, holding a scepter and surrounded by a floating mass of Roombas. “Welcome to the sovereign nation of Bartonia,” he said, with a straight face. “My subjects, the Roombas, the drones and one random mechanical bird thing that I found, and I welcome you, and ask you what the fuck you think you're doing here, you are seriously a fucking moron.” “I'm here,” Tony gritted out, “to rescue you, and what kind of fucking attitude is that?.” “A little short for a storm trooper, aren't you?” Clint said, arching an eyebrow. He offered Tony a hand. “Are you wearing a crown? Seriously? Where did you get a- Why are you wearing a crown?” Tony asked, taking it and allowing Clint to help lever him back to his feet. “Listen, dude, I have learned something about myself today. Mostly, I have learned that if I end up in some sort of alien rubbish dump surrounded by neurotic robots and without a clue as to if I'm ever going to make it home, if I find a crown, I'm putting that bad boy on. There should never be a time when you do not wear a crown. Find a crown, you wear it and declare sovereignty over the vast mechanical wastes.” Clint waved his scepter around a bit, making the Roombas dodge. “Thus, Bartonia.
Scifigrl47 (Ordinary Workplace Hazards, Or SHIELD and OSHA Aren't On Speaking Terms (In Which Tony Stark Builds Himself Some Friends (But His Family Was Assigned by Nick Fury), #2))
The point is, it seems to me that my mind is a mass of totally contradictory attitudes about everything.’ ‘Everyone’s mind is a mass of contradictory attitudes. Why should it matter?’ ‘It should matter to us, surely?
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
Painting, by its nature, cannot provide an object of simultaneous collective reception... as film is able to do today... And while efforts have been made to present paintings to the masses in galleries and salons, this mode of reception gives the masses no means of organizing and regulating their response. Thus, the same public which reacts progressively to a slapstick comedy inevitably displays a backward attitude toward Surrealism.
Walter Benjamin (The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media)
In his eloquent defenses of the traditional Mass, Dietrich von Hildebrand speaks often of the need for an attitude of reverence prior to all acts of worship; he appeals to the influence of silence on the human soul, which, after the Fall, tends to be in a state of noisy flux. The liturgy exemplifies the truth that in love, silence speaks louder than words. The
Peter Kwasniewski (Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church)
What is concerned here is not the morale of the masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself. Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.
George Orwell (1984)
My blind adoration of Omi was devoid of any element of conscious criticism, and still less did I have anything like a moral viewpoint where he was concern. Whenever I tried to capture the amorphous mass of my adoration within the confines of analysis, it would already have disappeared. If there be such a thing as love that has neither duration nor progress, this was precisely my emotion. The eyes through which I saw Omi were always those of a 'first glance' or, if I may say so, of the 'primeval glance'. It was purely an unconscious attitude on my part, a ceaselesseffort to protect my fourteen-yesr-old purity from the process of erosion. Could this have been love? Grant it to be one form of love, for even though at first glance it seemed to retain its pristine form forever, simply repeating that form over and over again, it too had its own unique sort of debasement and decay. And it was a debasement more evil than that of any normal kind of love. Indeed, of all the kinds of decay in this world, decadent purity is the most malignant. Nevertheless, in my unrequited love for Omi, in this the first love I encountered in life, I seemed like a baby bird keeping its truly innocent animal lusts hidden under its wing. I was being tempted, not by the desire of possession, but simply by unadorned temptation itself. To say the least, while at school, particularly during a boring class, I could not take my eyes off Omi's profile. What more could I have done when I did not know that to love is both to seek and to be sought? For me love was nothing but a dialogue of little riddles, with no answers given. As for my spirit of adoration, I never even imagined it to be a thing that required some sort of answer.
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
The effect of education on political attitudes is complicated, for democratic society. The self-professed aim of modern education is to "liberate" people from prejudices and traditional forms of authority. Educated people are said not to obey authority blindly, but rather learn to think for themselves. Even if this doesn't happen on a mass basis, people can be taught to see their own self-interest more clearly, and over a longer time horizon. Education also makes people demand more of themselves and for themselves; in other words, they acquire a certain sense of dignity which they want to have respected by their fellow citizens and by the state. In a traditional peasant society, it is possible for a local landlord (or, for that matter, a communist commissar) to recruit peasants to kill other peasants and dispossess them of their land. They do so not because it is in their interest, but because they are used to obeying authority. Urban professionals in developed countries, on the other hand, can be recruited to a lot of nutty causes like liquid diets and marathon running, but they tend not to volunteer for private armies or death squads simply because someone in a uniform tells them to do so
Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man)
All the beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes that characterize our time are really designed to sustain the mystique of the party and prevent the true nature of present-day society from being perceived. Physical rebellion, or any preliminary move toward rebellion, is at present not possible. From the proletarians nothing is to be feared. Left to themselves, they will continue from generation to generation and century to century, working, breeding, and dying, not only without the power of grasping that the world could be other than it is. They could only become dangerous if the advance of industrial technique made it necessary to educate them more highly; but since military and commercial rivalry are no longer important, the level of popular education is actually declining. What opinions the masses hold,or do not hold, is looked on as matter of indifference. They can me granted intellectual liberty because they have no intellect.
George Orwell (1984)
Patriotism, as a rational choice, is the ideology of the rich, but for the masses this is just an irrational attitude to public life.
Elmar Hussein
Among [Applewhite's] other teachings was the classic cult specialty of developing disdain for anyone outside of the Heaven's Gate commune. Applewhite flattered his would-be alien flock that they were an elite elect far superior to the non-initiated humans whom he considered to be deluded zombies.[...]Applewhite effectively fed his paranoid persecution complex to his followers to ensure blind loyalty to the group and himself while fostering alienation from the mundane world. This paradoxical superior/fearful attitude towards “Them” (i.e., anyone who is not one of “Us”) is one of the simplest means of hooking even the most skeptical curiosity seeker into the solipsistic netherworld of a [mentally unbalanced] leader's insecure and threatened worldview.
Zeena Schreck (Straight to Hell: 20th Century Suicides)
The demagogic propagandist must therefore be consistently dogmatic. All his statements are made without qualification. There are no grays in his picture of the world; everything is either diabolically black or celestially white. In Hitler’s words, the propagandist should adopt “a systematically one-sided attitude towards every problem that has to be dealt with.” He must never admit that he might be wrong or that people with a different point of view might be even partially right. Opponents should not be argued with; they should be attacked, shouted down, or, if they become too much of a nuisance, liquidated. The morally squeamish intellectual may be shocked by this kind of thing. But the masses are always convinced that “right is on the side of the active aggressor.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
The proponents of hate-crime laws are liberals, and yet they are the ones who are the biggest critics of mass incarceration,” observes James B. Jacobs, director of New York University’s Center for Research in Crime and Justice, and an expert on hate-crime laws. “So there are ironies piled on ironies. The remedy here is imprisonment, and prisons are the ultimate incubators of antisocial attitudes.
Dashka Slater (The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives)
I got some funny reactions, a lot of irate reactions, as if I were somehow taking people's fun away from them. I have nothing against sports. I like to watch a good basketball game and that sort of thing. On the other hand, we have to recognise that the mass hysteria about spectator sports plays a significant role. First of all, spectator sports make people more passive, because you're not doing them; you're watching somebody doing them. Secondly, they engender jingoist and chauvinist attitudes, sometimes to quite an extreme degree. I saw something in the newspapers just a day or two ago about how high-school teams are now so antagonistic and passionately committed to winning at all costs that they had to abandon the standard handshake before or after the game. These kids can't even do civil things like greeting one another because they're ready to kill one another. It's spectator sports that engender those attitudes, particularly when they're designed to organise a community to be hysterically committed to their gladiators. That's very dangerous, and it has lots of deleterious effects.
Noam Chomsky (The Quotable Chomsky)
In a society of increasingly mass-produced, assembly-line entertainment, where every individual is treated like an empty pitcher to be filled from above, jazz retains something of the spirit of the handicrafts of yesteryear. The print of the human spirit warms it. Deep down, jazz expresses the enforced & compassionate attitudes of a minority group and may well appeal to us because we all have blue moods and, in a fundamental sense, none of us is wholly free.
Marshall W. Stearns (The Story of Jazz)
An active mass movement rejects the present and centers its interest on the future. It is from this attitude that it derives its strength, for it can proceed recklessly with the present—with the health, wealth and lives of its followers.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
Thus we arrive at the problem of the relation of religion to the negation of sexual desire. Sexual debility results in a lowering of self-confidence. In one case it is compensated by the brutalization of sexuality, to maintain sexual repression, in the other by rigid character traits. The compulsion to control one's sexuality, to maintain sexual repression, leads to the development of pathologic, emotionally tinged notions of honor and duty, bravery and self-control. But the pathology and emotionality of these psychic attitudes are strongly at variance with the reality of one's personal behavior. The man who attains genital satisfaction, is honorable, responsible, brave, and controlled, without making much of a fuss about it. These attitudes are an organic part of his personality. The man whose genitals are weakened, whose sexual structure is full of contradictions, must continually remind himself to control his sexuality, to preserve his sexual dignity, to be brave in the face of temptation, etc. The struggle to resist the temptation to masturbate is a struggle that is experienced by every adolescent and every child, without exception. All the elements of the reactionary man's structure are developed in this struggle. It is in the lower middle classes that this structure is reinforced most strongly and embedded most deeply. Every form of mysticism derives it's most active energy and, in part, also it's content from this compulsory suppression of sexuality.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
Most striking, perhaps, is the overwhelming evidence that implicit bias measures are disassociated from explicit bias measures.45 In other words, the fact that you may honestly believe that you are not biased against African Americans, and that you may even have black friends or relatives, does not mean that you are free from unconscious bias. Implicit bias tests may still show that you hold negative attitudes and stereotypes about blacks, even though you do not believe you do and do not want to.46 In
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
We are focus-points of consciousness, [...] enormously creative. When we enter the self-constructed hologrammetric arena we call spacetime, we begin at once to generate creativity particles, imajons, in violent continuous pyrotechnic deluge. Imajons have no charge of their own but are strongly polarized through our attitudes and by the force of our choice and desire into clouds of conceptons, a family of very-high-energy particles which may be positive, negative or neutral. [...] Some common positive conceptions are exhilarons, excytons, rhapsodons, jovions. Common negative conceptions include gloomons, tormentons, tribulons, agonons, miserons. "Indefinite numbers of conceptions are created in nonstop eruption, a thundering cascade of creativity pouring from every center of personal consciousness. They mushroom into conception clouds, which can be neutral or strongly charged - buoyant, weightless or leaden, depending on the nature of their dominant particles. "Every nanosecond an indefinite number of conception clouds build to critical mass, then transform in quantum bursts to high-energy probability waves radiating at tachyon speeds through an eternal reservoir of supersaturated alternate events. Depending on their charge and nature, the probability waves crystallize certain of these potential events to match the mental polarity of their creating consciousness into holographic appearance. [...] "The materialized events become that mind's experience, freighted with all the aspects of physical structure necessary to make them real and learningful to the creating consciousness. This autonomic process is the fountain from which springs every object and event in the theater of spacetime. "The persuasion of the imajon hypothesis lies in its capacity for personal verification. The hypothesis predicts that as we focus our conscious intention on the positive and life-affirming, as we fasten our thought on these values, we polarize masses of positive conceptions, realize beneficial probability-waves, bring useful alternate events to us that otherwise would not have appeared to exist. "The reverse is true in the production of negative events, as is the mediocre in-between. Through default or intention, unaware or by design, we not only choose but create the visible outer conditions that are most resonant to our inner state of being [...]
Richard Bach (Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit)
No matter how great you are at what you do, as long as you remain known only within your own family circles, then you and your talent will die in obscurity and irrelevance. Position yourself to influence the masses by having a media, marketing and communication strategy.
Archibald Marwizi (Making Success Deliberate)
Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future.
Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)
Back in the 1920s, the major manual of the public relations industry actually was titled Propaganda (in those days, people were a little bit more honest). It opens saying something like this: the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is a central feature of a democratic system―the wording is virtually like that. Then it says: it is the job of the “intelligent minorities” to carry out this manipulation of the attitudes and opinions of the masses. And really that’s the leading doctrine of modern liberal-democratic intellectual thought: that if you lose the power to control people by force, you need better indoctrination.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
What is concerned here is not the morale of the masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself. Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly.
George Orwell (1984)
The shift to a general attitude of 'toughness' toward problems associated with communities of color began in the 1960s, when the gains and goals of the Civil Rights movement began to require real sacrifices on the part of white Americans, and conservative politicians found they could mobilize white racial resentment by vowing to crack down on crime.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Understanding African American attitudes and actions on matters of crime and punishment requires that we pay careful attention to another topic that is often overlooked in criminal justice scholarship: class divisions within the black community.21 Although mass incarceration harms black America as a whole, its most direct victims are the poorest, least educated blacks. While
James Forman Jr. (Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America)
One of the greatest tools you cannot do without is the media. These various means for mass communication and those involved in them must be your partners and not your enemies; you must not be afraid of them but befriend and love them. If you are going to be significant and relevant then you are going to need someone to help broadcast your voice and channel your substance to the world.
Archibald Marwizi (Making Success Deliberate)
Yet alongside this rebellion against the father, a respect for and acceptance of his authority continued to exist. This ambivalent attitude toward authority—rebellion against it coupled with acceptance and submission—is a basic feature of every middle-class structure from the age of puberty to full adulthood and is especially pronounced in individuals stemming from materially restricted circumstances.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
Beginning in the 1970s, researchers found that racial attitudes—not crime rates or likelihood of victimization—are an important determinant of white support for “get tough on crime” and antiwelfare measures. 90 Among whites, those expressing the highest degree of concern about crime also tend to oppose racial reform, and their punitive attitudes toward crime are largely unrelated to their likelihood of victimization.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
The ignorant mass looks upon the man who makes a violent protest against our social and economic iniquities as upon a wild beast, a cruel, heartless monster, whose joy it is to destroy life and bathe in blood; or at best, as upon an irresponsible lunatic. Yet nothing is further from the truth. As a matter of fact, those who have studied the character and personality of these men, or who have come in close contact with them, are agreed that it is their super-sensitiveness to the wrong and injustice surrounding them which compels them to pay the toll of our social crimes. The most noted writers and poets, discussing the psychology of political offenders, have paid them the highest tribute. Could anyone assume that these men had advised violence, or even approved of the acts? Certainly not. Theirs was the attitude of the social student, of the man who knows that beyond every violent act there is a vital cause.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
What is inherent or intuitively “known within” and what has been taught? Nature or Nurture? Perhaps our “amnesia” is actually our society “telling” us to ignore impressions, intuitions, and feelings that many of us have that could be interpreted as recollections from past lives or contact with the spirit realm. The Western paradigm, like other traditions and societies, will bring us, through the back door, to mass hypnosis and social enculturation, sometimes called education. It is often the process of enculturation, or education and assimilation, that “causes” us to ignore our feelings and intuitions, to essentially forget our 6th sense connected to our higher selves, and divine wisdom. We are strongly encouraged here in the West to put aside childish notions. Not so fast. Forget not that it was Jesus who said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (The Bible, Matthew 18:3)
Stephen Poplin (Inner Journeys, Cosmic Sojourns: Life transforming stories, adventures and messages from a spiritual hypnotherapist's casebook)
Under the influence of politicians, masses of people tend to ascribe the responsibility for wars to those who wield power at any given time. In World War I it was the munitions industrialists; in World War II it was the psychopathic generals who were said to be guilty. This is passing the buck. The responsibility for wars falls solely upon the shoulders of these same masses of people, for they have all the necessary means to avert war in their own hands. In part by their apathy, in part by their passivity, and in part actively, these same masses of people make possible the catastrophes under which they themselves suffer more than anyone else. To stress this guilt on the part of masses of people, to hold them solely responsible, means to take them seriously. On the other hand, to commiserate masses of people as victims, means to treat them as small, helpless children. The former is the attitude held by the genuine freedom-fighters; the latter the attitude held by the power-thirsty politicians.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
The 4th Way is based on understanding. The Work is the 4th Way—that is, it is not the Way of Fakir or the Way of Monk, or the Way of Yogi. In this Work understanding is the most powerful thing you can develop. Therefore it is necessary to begin to to try to understand what this Work teaches and see for oneself why it teaches it. What does that mean? It means in brief that you must understand for yourself why negative emotions must go, understand why self-justifying must go, why lying and deceit must go, why internal considering and grievances and making internal accounts must go. (Notice the Lord's Prayer says: "Forgive us as we forgive others.") You must understand for yourself why egotistical phantasies must go, why self-pity and sad regrets must go, why hating must go, why the state of inner sleep must go, why ignorance must go, why buffers and attitudes and pictures of yourself must go, why False Personality, with its two giants walking in front of you, Pride and Vanity, must go, why ignorance of oneself must be replaced by real uncritical self-knowledge through observation, why external considering is always necessary, and finally you must understand and see why Self-Remembering is utterly and totally necessary for you at all times if you want to awaken from the great sleep-inducing power of nature and the increasing mass-hypnotism of external life. All this is the Work and what it teaches —namely, what it is we have to do in order to awaken from the state of sleep in which we live.
Maurice Nicoll (Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky 3)
The unfortunate reality we must face is that racism manifests itself not only in individual attitudes and stereotypes, but also in the basic structure of society. Academics have developed complicated theories and obscure jargon in an effort to describe what is now referred to as structural racism, yet the concept is fairly straightforward. One theorist, Iris Marion Young, relying on a famous “birdcage” metaphor, explains it this way: If one thinks about racism by examining only one wire of the cage, or one form of disadvantage, it is difficult to understand how and why the bird is trapped. Only a large number of wires arranged in a specific way, and connected to one another, serve to enclose the bird and to ensure that it cannot escape.11 What is particularly important to keep in mind is that any given wire of the cage may or may not be specifically developed for the purpose of trapping the bird, yet it still operates (together with the other wires) to restrict its freedom. By the same token, not every aspect of a racial caste system needs to be developed for the specific purpose of controlling black people in order for it to operate (together with other laws, institutions, and practices) to trap them at the bottom of a racial hierarchy. In the system of mass incarceration, a wide variety of laws, institutions, and practices—ranging from racial profiling to biased sentencing policies, political disenfranchisement, and legalized employment discrimination—trap African Americans in a virtual (and literal) cage. Fortunately,
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Ignorance of the character structure of masses of people invariably leads to fruitless questioning. The Communists, for example, said that it was the misdirected policies of the Social Democrats that made it possible for the fascists to seize power. Actually this explanation did not explain anything, for it was precisely the Social Democrats who made a point of spreading illusions. In short, it did not result in a new mode of action. That political reaction in the form of fascism had 'befogged,' 'corrupted,' and 'hypnotized' the masses is an explanation that is as sterile as the others. This is and will continue to be the function of fascism as long as it exists. Such explanations are sterile because they fail to offer a way out. Experience teaches us that such disclosures, no matter how often they are repeated, do not convince the masses; that, in other words, social economic inquiry by itself is not enough. Wouldn't it be closer to the mark to ask, what was going on in the masses that they could not and would not recognize the function of fascism? To say that, 'The workers have to realize...' or 'We didn't understand...' does not serve any purpose. Why didn't the workers realize, and why didn't they understand? The questions that formed the basis of the discussion between the Right and the Left in the workers' movements are also to be regarded as sterile. The Right contended that the workers were not predisposed to fight; the Left, on the other hand, refuted this and asserted that the workers were revolutionary and that the Right's statement was a betrayal of revolutionary thinking. Both assertions, because they failed to see the complexities of the issue, were rigidly mechanistic. A realistic appraisal would have had to point out that the average worker bears a contradiction in himself; that he, in other words, is neither a clear-cut revolutionary nor a clear-cut conservative, but stands divided. His psychic structure derives on the one hand from the social situation (which prepares the ground for revolutionary attitudes) and on the other hand from the entire atmosphere of authoritarian society—the two being at odds with one another.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
It did not take National Socialism long to rally workers, most of whom were either unemployed or still very young, into the SA [Sturmangriff, Stormtroopers, "brown shirts"]. To a large extent, however, these workers were revolutionary in a dull sort of way and still maintained an authoritarian attitude. For this reason National Socialist propaganda was contradictory; it's content was determined by the class for which it was intended. Only in its manipulation of the mystical feelings of the masses was it clear and consistent. In talks with followers of the National Socialist party and especially with members of the SA, it was clearly brought out that the revolutionary phraseology of National Socialism was the decisive factor in the winning over of these masses. One heard National Socialists deny that Hitler represented capital. One heard SA men warn Hitler that he must not betray the cause of the "revolution." One heard SA men say that Hitler was the German Lenin. Those who went over to National Socialism from Social Democracy and the liberal central parties were, without exception, revolutionary minded masses who were either nonpolitical or politically undecided prior to this. Those who went over from the Communist party were often revolutionary elements who simply could not make any sense of many of the German Communist party's contradictory political slogans. In part they were men upon whom the external features of Hitler's party, it's military character, its assertiveness, etc., made a big impression. To begin with, it is the symbol of the flag that stands out among the symbols used for purposes of propaganda.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
[January 1944] As to this country, I have been lecturing now for three years to the troops and their attitude is the same. They don’t believe in concentration camps, they don’t believe in the starved children of Greece, in the shot hostages of France, in the mass-graves of Poland; they have never heard of Lidice, Treblinka or Belzec; you can convince them for an hour, then they shake themselves, their mental self-defence begins to work and in a week the shrug of incredulity has returned like a reflex temporarily weakened by a shock. Clearly all this is becoming a mania with me and my like. Clearly we must suffer from some morbid obsession, whereas the others are healthy and normal. But the characteristic symptom of maniacs is that they lose contact with reality and live in a phantasy world. So perhaps it is the other way around: perhaps it is we, the screamers, who react in a sound and healthy way to the reality which surrounds us, whereas you are the neurotic, who totter about in a screamed phantasy world because you lack the faculty to face the facts! Were it not so, this war would have been avoided, and those murdered within sight of your daydreaming eyes would still be alive!
Arthur Koestler
Adorno and his colleagues identified nine a priori clusters of personality dimensions—many surprisingly similar to Dicks’s “High F Syndrome”—that made up the authoritarian personality: 1. Conventionalism: Rigid adherence to conventional middle-class values. 2. Authoritarian Submission: Submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealized moral authorities of the in-group. 3. Authoritarian Aggression: Tendency to be on the lookout for, and to condemn, reject, and punish, people who violate conventional values. 4. Anti-Intraception: Opposition to the subjective, the imaginative, the tender-minded. 5. Superstition and Stereotypy: The belief in mystical determinants of the individual’s fate; the disposition to think in rigid categories. 6. Power and “Toughness”: Preoccupation with the dominance-submission, strong-weak, leader-follower dimension; identification with power figures; overemphasis on the conventionalized attributes of the ego; exaggerated assertion of strength and toughness. 7. Destructiveness and Cynicism: Generalized hostility, vilification of the human. 8. Projectivity: The disposition to believe that wild and dangerous things go on in the world; the projection outward of unconscious emotional impulses. 9. Sex: Exaggerated concern with sexual “goings-on.
James Waller (Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing)
Do what you have to do as you must do it, and exert all your noble strength in doing it in so far as it pleases God, and give less attention to the approval or disapproval of men, though put their thoughts into consideration and take the lessons from their thoughts seriously. Factor the thoughts of the masses into changing the face of your vision as you journey to it and be happy and more confident about where you want to get to. Seek not for fame but let it inspire you to the top. Mind your real aim notwithstanding the obstacles and failure you shall meet. Do your best to present your best to God for from Him comes your daily breath!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
From the perspective of inclusive fitness, unfamiliar others are potential free-riders and, out of a concern that they will be exploited by others, people reduce considerably their altruistic attitudes and behavior in a general way in more diverse communities. This loss of trust is a symptom of a breakdown in social cohesion and is surely a forerunner of the sort of ethnic conflict that is always likely to break out if allowed to do so. This is undoubtedly the reason why multicultural nation-states are forever promoting tolerance and ever more punitive sanctions for the expression of ethnic hostility, even going so far to as to discourage the expression of opinion about the reality of ethnic and racial differences. Currently these measures are directed at the host population when they express reservations about the wisdom of mass immigration, but this will surely change as it becomes ever more obvious that it is the presence of competing ethnic groups that is creating the tension and not the expressed reservations of the majority population. The real danger for modern democracies is that in their zeal to promote multicultural societies, they will be forced to resort to the means that have characterized all empires attempting to maintain their hegemony over disparate peoples.
Byron M. Roth (The Perils of Diversity: Immigration and Human Nature)
How happy you make me, Jack," said Stephen. "And you might make me even happier, should you so wish, by giving me a hand with this. The unreasonable attitude, or lurch, of the ship caused me to overset the chest." "God help us," cried Jack, gazing at the mass of gold coins lying in a deep curve along the leeward side of the cabin. "What is this?" "It is technically known as money," said Stephen. "And was you to help me pick it up, instead of leering upon it with a stunned concupiscence more worthy of Danae than a king's officer, we might conceivably save some few pieces before they all slip through the cracks in the floor. Come, come, bear a hand, there.
Patrick O'Brian (The Mauritius Command (Aubrey & Maturin #4))
That the deprecating attitude of a mass movement toward the present seconds the inclinations of the frustrated is obvious. What surprises one, when listening to the frustrated as they decry the present and all its works, is the enormous joy they derive from doing so. Such delight cannot come from the mere venting of a grievance. There must be something more -- and there is. By expatiating upon the incurable baseness and vileness of the times, the frustrated soften their feeling of failure and isolation. It is as if they said: 'Not only our blemished selves, but the lives of all our contemporaries, even the most happy and successful, are worthless and wasted.' Thus by deprecating the present they acquire a vague sense of equality.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
This difference in public attitudes has important implications for reform efforts. Claims that mass incarceration is analogous to Jim Crow will fall on deaf ears and alienate potential allies if advocates fail to make clear that the claim is not meant to suggest or imply that supporters of the current system are racist in the way Americans have come to understand that term. Race plays a major role—indeed, a defining role—in the current system, but not because of what is commonly understood as old-fashioned, hostile bigotry. This system of control depends far more on racial indifference (defined as a lack of compassion and caring about race and racial groups) than racial hostility—a feature it actually shares with its predecessors.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
And such in fact is the behaviour of the specialist. In politics, in art, in social usages, in the other sciences, he will adopt the attitude of primitive, ignorant man; but he will adopt them forcefully and with self-sufficiency, and will not admit of- this is the paradox- specialists in those matters. By specialising him, civilisation has made him hermetic and self-satisfied within his limitations; but this very inner feeling of dominance and worth will induce him to wish to predominate outside his speciality. The result is that even in this case, representing a maximum of qualification in man- specialisation- and therefore the thing most opposed to the mass-man, the result is that he will behave in almost all spheres of life as does the unqualified, the mass-man.
José Ortega y Gasset (The Revolt of the Masses)
The curse has been the multiplication of those who haven’t yet made their individual selection of reading the work before coming to talk to me. They come out of some kind of contagion. And this is where I find the danger of mass thinking or mass media or whatever it is: that people come without having any relation to the thing they come to. I would have liked better meeting those who really wanted to have some kind of dialogue with that particular attitude in life. […] How do you keep a thing intimate in America where everything is always multiplied by people who have not really approached it sincerely, organically, individually, but just because they heard the name or because they saw you on T.V. This is a vicious kind of thing; it’s the non-relationship to things. They come and they’re not related to it.
Anaïs Nin (A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars and Interviews of Anaïs Nin)
Finally, we arrive at the question of the so-called nonpolitical man. Hitler not only established his power from the very beginning with masses of people who were until then essentially nonpolitical; he also accomplished his last step to victory in March of 1933 in a "legal" manner, by mobilizing no less than five million nonvoters, that is to say, nonpolitical people. The Left parties had made every effort to win over the indifferent masses, without posing the question as to what it means "to be indifferent or nonpolitical." If an industrialist and large estate owner champions a rightist party, this is easily understood in terms of his immediate economic interests. In his case a leftist orientation would be at variance with his social situation and would, for that reason, point to irrational motives. If an industrial worker has a leftist orientation, this too is by all mean rationally consistent—it derives from his economic and social position in industry. If, however, a worker, an employee, or an official has a rightist orientation, this must be ascribed to a lack of political clarity, i.e., he is ignorant of his social position. The more a man who belongs to the broad working masses is nonpolitical, the more susceptible he is to the ideology of political reaction. To be nonpolitical is not, as one might suppose, evidence of a passive psychic condition, but of a highly active attitude, a defense against the awareness of social responsibility. The analysis of this defense against consciousness of one's social responsibility yields clear insights into a number of dark questions concerning the behavior of the broad nonpolitical strata. In the case of the average intellectual "who wants nothing to do with politics," it can easily be shown that immediate economic interests and fears related to his social position, which is dependent upon public opinion, lie at the basis of his noninvolvement. These fears cause him to make the most grotesque sacrifices with respect to his knowledge and convictions. Those people who are engaged in the production process in one way or another and are nonetheless socially irresponsible can be divided into two major groups. In the case of the one group the concept of politics is unconsciously associated with the idea of violence and physical danger, i.e., with an intense fear, which prevents them from facing life realistically. In the case of the other group, which undoubtedly constitutes the majority, social irresponsibility is based on personal conflicts and anxieties, of which the sexual anxiety is the predominant one. […] Until now the revolutionary movement has misunderstood this situation. It attempted to awaken the "nonpolitical" man by making him conscious solely of his unfulfilled economic interests. Experience teaches that the majority of these "nonpolitical" people can hardly be made to listen to anything about their socio-economic situation, whereas they are very accessible to the mystical claptrap of a National Socialist, despite the fact that the latter makes very little mention of economic interests. [This] is explained by the fact that severe sexual conflicts (in the broadest sense of the word), whether conscious or unconscious, inhibit rational thinking and the development of social responsibility. They make a person afraid and force him into a shell. If, now, such a self-encapsulated person meets a propagandist who works with faith and mysticism, meets, in other words, a fascist who works with sexual, libidinous methods, he turns his complete attention to him. This is not because the fascist program makes a greater impression on him than the liberal program, but because in his devotion to the führer and the führer's ideology, he experiences a momentary release from his unrelenting inner tension. Unconsciously, he is able to give his conflicts a different form and in this way to "solve" them.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
Writing will never be perfect in a poet's eye that is why we need people's criticism good or bad, whether or not it gives a positive or negative frame to our work. We are first at hand to fight against the real and the normal in our writing as our outspoken, brimming voice bring truths to light so vividly and intensely for mass consumption that we so long for in our hearts. When the poet, not jubilant, neither spirited, allows his mind to quiet, allows the survival of and realises that all figures of speech matters; when God has witnessed the culmination of his progress; when the writer is almost in a hypnotic stance. Then the poet cannot stop himself when he is in the right place, then he can guess at the intensity, the prowess of his pen, his prolific writing and the intelligence behind his words becomes a self portrait kind of like what Vincent van Gogh used to do when he was depressed and lonely, fighting against the feelings of isolation and rejection by the establishment.
Abigail George (Feeding The Beasts)
It seems to us that there are four great collective sociological assumptions in the modern world. By this we mean not only the Western world, but all the world that shares a modern technology and is structured into nations…. That man’s aim in life is happiness, that man is naturally good, that history develops in endless progress, and that everything is matter. The other great psychological reflection of social reality is the myth. The myth expresses the deep inclinations of a society. Without it, the masses would not cling to a certain civilization, or its process of development and crisis. It is a vigorous impulse, strongly colored, irrational, and charged with all of man’s power to believe… In our society the two great fundamentals myths on which all other myths rest are Science and History. And based on them are the collective myths that are man’s principal orientations: the myth of Work, the myth of Happiness (which is not the same thing as presupposition of happiness), the myth of the Nation, the myth of Youth, the myth of Hero. Propaganda is forced to build on those presuppositions and to express these myths, for without them nobody would listen to it. And in so building it must always go in the same direction as society; it can only reinforce society. A propaganda that stresses virtue over happiness and presents man’s future as one dominated by austerity and contemplation would have no audience at all. A propaganda that questions progress or work would arouse distain and reach nobody; it would immediately be branded as an ideology of the intellectuals, since most people feel that the serious things are material things because they are related to labor, and so on. It is remarkable how the various presuppositions and aspects of myths complement each other, support each other, mutually defend each other: If the propagandist attacks the network at one point, all myths react to the attack. Propaganda must be based on current beliefs and symbols to reach man and win him over.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
The War on Drugs proved popular among key white voters, particularly whites who remained resentful of black progress, civil rights enforcement, and affirmative action. Beginning in the 1970s, researchers found that racial attitudes - not crime rates or likelihood of victimization - are an important determinant of white support for 'get tough on crime' and antiwelfare measures. Among whites, those expressing the highest degree of concern about crime also tend to oppose racial reform, and their punitive attitudes toward crime are largely unrelated to their likelihood of victimization. Whites, on average, are more punitive than blacks, despite the fact that blacks are far more likely to be victims of crime. Rural whites are often the most punitive, even though they are least likely to be crime victims. The War on Drugs, cloaked in race-neutral language, offered whites opposed to racial reform a unique opportunity to express their hostility toward blacks and black progress, without being exposed to the charge of racism.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
...I shall let [Anne] Wallace put the case herself, at what I think is necessary length: 'As travel in general becomes physically easier, faster, and less expensive, more people want and are able to arrive at more destinations with less unpleasant awareness of their travel process. At the same time the availability of an increasing range of options in conveyance, speed, price, and so forth actually encouraged comparisons of these different modes...and so an increasingly positive awareness of process that even permitted semi-nostalgic glances back at the bad old days...Then, too, although local insularity was more and more threatened...people also quite literally became more accustomed to travel and travellers, less fearful of 'foreign' ways, so that they gradually became able to regard travel as an acceptable recreation. Finally, as speeds increased and costs decreased, it simply ceased to be true that the mass of people were confined to that circle of a day's walk: they could afford both the time and the money to travel by various means and for purely recreational purposes...And as walking became a matter of choice, it became a possible positive choice: since the common person need not necessarily be poor. Thus, as awareness of process became regarded as advantageous, 'economic necessity' became only one possible reading (although still sometimes a correct one) in a field of peripatetic meanings that included 'aesthetic choice'.' It sounds a persuasive case. It is certainly possible that something like the shift in consciousness that Wallace describes may have taken place by the 'end' (as conventionally conceived) of the Romantic period, and influenced the spread of pedestrianism in the 1820s and 1830s; even more likely that such a shift was instrumental in shaping the attitudes of Victorian writing in the railway age, and helped generate the apostolic fervour with which writers like Leslie Stephen and Robert Louis Stevenson treated the walking tour. But it fails to account for the rise of pedestrianism as I have narrated it.
Robin Jarvis (Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel)
In trying to find out what Bruno thought of his priesthood, we now have a serious problem which we did not have before. In Venice, he told his fellow-prisoners that he was an enemy of the mass, and thought transubstantiation a ridiculous idea and the Catholic ritual bestial and blasphemous. He compared the elevation of the host to hanging somebody on a gallows, or perhaps to lifting him up on a pitchfork. He told somebody who had dreamt of going to mass that that was a terrible omen; and he performed a mock mass with Ovid's Art of Love instead of a missal. He joked about hungry priests going off from mass to a good breakfast. He spoke particularly ill of the mass as a sacrifice, and said that Abel, the archetype of the sacrificing priest, was a criminal butcher who was rightly killed by the vegetarian Cain. A phrase he used elsewhere, apparently about Christ's passion and not directly about the mass itself, seems nevertheless to express rather exactly his attitude to is: he called it 'some kind of a cabbalistic tragedy'.
John Bossy (Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair)
A slave, Marcus Cato said, should be working when he is not sleeping. It does not matter whether his work in itself is good in itself—for slaves, at least. This sentiment still survives, and it has piled up mountains of useless drudgery. I believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless work is, at bottom, simply fear of the mob. The mob (the thought runs) are such low animals that they would be dangerous if they had leisure; it is safer to keep them too busy to think. A rich man who happens to be intellectually honest, if he is questioned about the improvement of working conditions, usually says something like this: "We know that poverty is unpleasant; in fact, since it is so remote, we rather enjoy harrowing ourselves with the thought of its unpleasantness. But don’t expect us to do anything about it. We are sorry fort you lower classes, just as we are sorry for a cat with the mange, of your condition. We feel that you are much safer as you are. The present state of affairs suits us, and we are not going to take the risk of setting you free, even by an extra hour a day. So, dear brothers, since evidently you must sweat to pay for our trips to Italy, sweat and be damned to you.” This is particularly the attitude of intelligent, cultivated people; one can read the substance if it in a hundred essays. Very few cultivated people have less than (say) four hundred pounds a year, and naturally they side with the rich, because they imagine that any liberty conceded to the poor is a threat to their own liberty. foreseeing some dismal Marxian Utopia as the alternative, the educated man prefers to keep things as they are. Possibly he does not like his fellow-rich very much, but he supposes that even the vulgarest of them are less inimical to his pleasures, more his kind of people, than the poor, and that he had better stand by them. It is this fear of a supposedly dangerous mob that makes nearly all intelligent people conservative in their opinions. Fear of the mob is a superstitious fear. It is based on the idea that there is some mysterious, fundamental difference between rich and poor, as though they were two different races, like negroes and white men. But in reality there is no such difference. The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothings else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit. Change places, and handy dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Everyone who has mixed on equal terms with the poor knows this quite well. But the trouble is that intelligent, cultivated people, the very people who might be expected to have liberal opinions, never do mix with the poor. For what do the majority of educated people know about poverty? In my copy of Villon’s poems the editor has actually thought it necessary to explain the line “Ne pain ne voyent qu'aux fenestres” by a footnote; so remote is even hunger from the educated man’s experience. From this ignorance a superstitious fear of the mob results quite naturally. The educated man pictures a horde of submen, wanting only a day’s liberty to loot his house, burn his books, and set him to work minding a machine or sweeping out a lavatory. “Anything,” he thinks, “any injustice, sooner than let that mob loose.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
Dreams in which the dead interact with the living are typically so powerful and lucid that there is no denying contact was real. They also fill us with renewed life and break up grief or depression. In chapter 16, on communicating with the dead, you will learn how to make such dreams come about. Another set of dreams in which the dead appear can be the stuff of horror. If you have had a nightmare concerning someone who has recently passed, know that you are looking into the face of personal inner conflict. You might dream, for instance, that your dead mother is buried alive or comes out of her grave in a corrupted body in search of you. What you are looking at here is the clash of two sets of ideas about death. On the one hand, a person is dead and rotting; on the other hand, that same person is still alive. The inner self uses the appropriate symbols to try to come to terms with the contradiction of being alive and dead at the same time. I am not sure to what extent people on the other side actually participate in these dreams. My private experience has given me the impression that the dreams are triggered by attempts of the departed for contact. The macabre images we use to deal with the contradiction, however, are ours alone and stem from cultural attitudes about death and the body. The conflict could lie in a different direction altogether. As a demonstration of how complex such dreams can be, I offer a simple one I had shortly after the death of my cat Twyla. It was a nightmare constructed out of human guilt. Even though I loved Twyla, for a combination of reasons she was only second best in the hierarchy of house pets. I had never done anything to hurt her, and her death was natural. Still I felt guilt, as though not giving her the full measure of my love was the direct cause of her death. She came to me in a dream skinned alive, a bloody mass of muscle, sinew, veins, and arteries. I looked at her, horror-struck at what I had done. Given her condition, I could not understand why she seemed perfectly healthy and happy and full of affection for me. I’m ashamed to admit that it took me over a week to understand what this nightmare was about. The skinning depicted the ugly fate of many animals in human hands. For Twyla, the picture was particularly apt because we used to joke about selling her for her fur, which was gorgeous, like the coat of a gray seal. My subconscious had also incorporated the callous adage “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” This multivalent graphic, typical of dreams, brought my feelings of guilt to the surface. But the real meaning was more profound and once discovered assuaged my conscience. Twyla’s coat represented her mortal body, her outer shell. What she showed me was more than “skin deep” — the real Twyla underneath,
Julia Assante (The Last Frontier: Exploring the Afterlife and Transforming Our Fear of Death)
Besides, nothing good comes from living, anyway. You’ll be happy or fortunate sometimes, but that’s just a momentary thing. Every happiness will fade with time, and you can’t experience it all that often, either. Or you grow accustomed to it. Like drugs. You feel good when you use them, but then you develop resistance. If you just up the dose and take more, and more, and more each time, you eventually wreck your body, or you overdose and bite it that way. It’s nothing but boredom, stupidity, suffering, pain, and loneliness. That’s all living is. What is this “life is wonderful” stuff? Anyone singing humanity’s praises can eat shit. If living doesn’t bring you to despair, you’re blind, or an idiot without the mental capacity for proper thought. The clever ones, they use all sort of tricks to distract themselves from the abject lack of hope. They forget it’s all meaningless, and focus on the pleasure in front of them. Working little by little toward some goal, fulfilling their curiosity, moving their bodies, trying to move up in the world, playing around, having sex. It’s because if they don’t do those things, they can’t bear it. There is no meaning in life. We were just born as a result of sexual reproduction. Whether we live or die, nothing changes. Nothing is gained, nothing lost. The total amount of mass in the universe is the same. When entropy increases, even the things we’ve worked so desperately to leave behind will be unable to maintain their forms. Nihilism isn’t a belief, a stance, or an attitude. It’s the plain truth.
Ao Jyumonji (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 14)
With the imposition of chastity, women become unchaste under the pressure of their sexual demands; the sexual brutality on the part of the male, and the corresponding conception on the part of the female that for her the sexual act is something disgraceful, takes the place of natural orgastic sensuousness. Extramarital sexual intercourse, to be sure, is not done away with anywhere. With the shifting of the valuation and the abolition of the institutions that previously protected and sanctioned it in a matriarchal society, it becomes involved in a conflict with official morality and is forced to lead a clandestine existence. The change in the social attitude toward sexual intercourse also effects a change in the inner experience of sexuality. The conflict that is now created between the natural and "sublime morality" disturbs the individual's ability to gratify his needs. The feeling of guilt now associated with sexuality cleaves the natural, orgastic course of sexual coalescence and produces a damming up of sexual energy, which later breaks out in various ways. Neuroses, sexual aberrations, and antisocial sexuality become permanent social phenomena. Childhood and adolescent sexuality, which were given a positive value in the original matriarchal work-democracy, fall prey to systematic suppression, which differs only in form. As time goes on, this sexuality, which is distorted, disturbed, brutalized, and prostituted, advocates the very ideology to which it owes its origin. Those who negate sexuality can now justifiably point to it as something brutal and dirty. That this dirty sexuality is not natural sexuality but merely patriarchal sexuality is simply overlooked. And the sexology of latter-day capitalistic patriarchy is no less affected by this evaluation than the vulgar views. This condemns it to complete sterility.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
Between the extreme limits of this series would find a place all the forms of prestige resulting from the different elements composing a civilisation -- sciences, arts, literature, &c. -- and it would be seen that prestige constitutes the fundamental element of persuasion. Consciously or not, the being, the idea, or the thing possessing prestige is immediately imitated in consequence of contagion, and forces an entire generation to adopt certain modes of feeling and of giving expression to its thought. This imitation, moreover, is, as a rule, unconscious, which accounts for the fact that it is perfect. The modern painters who copy the pale colouring and the stiff attitudes of some of the Primitives are scarcely alive to the source of their inspiration. They believe in their own sincerity, whereas, if an eminent master had not revived this form of art, people would have continued blind to all but its naïve and inferior sides. Those artists who, after the manner of another illustrious master, inundate their canvasses with violet shades do not see in nature more violet than was detected there fifty years ago; but they are influenced, "suggestioned," by the personal and special impressions of a painter who, in spite of this eccentricity, was successful in acquiring great prestige. Similar examples might be brought forward in connection with all the elements of civilisation. It is seen from what precedes that a number of factors may be concerned in the genesis of prestige; among them success was always one of the most important. Every successful man, every idea that forces itself into recognition, ceases, ipso facto, to be called in question. The proof that success is one of the principal stepping-stones to prestige is that the disappearance of the one is almost always followed by the disappearance of the other. The hero whom the crowd acclaimed yesterday is insulted to-day should he have been overtaken by failure. The re-action, indeed, will be the stronger in proportion as the prestige has been great. The crowd in this case considers the fallen hero as an equal, and takes its revenge for having bowed to a superiority whose existence it no longer admits.
Gustave Le Bon (The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind)
We said that if you don't quench those flames at once, they will spread all over the world; you thought we were maniacs. At present we have the mania of trying to tell you about the killing, by hot steam, mass-electrocution and live burial of the total Jewish population of Europe. So far three million have died. It is the greatest mass-killing in recorded history; and it goes on daily, hourly, as regularly as the ticking of your watch. I have photographs before me on the desk while I am writing this, and that accounts for my emotion and bitterness. People died to smuggle them out of Poland; they thought it was worth while. The facts have been published in pamphlets, White Books, newspapers, magazines and what not. But the other day I met one of the best-known American journalists over here. He told me that in the course of some recent public opinion survey nine out of ten average American citizens, when asked whether they believed that the Nazis commit atrocities, answered that it was all propaganda lies, and that they didn't believe a word of it. As to this country, I have been lecturing now for three years to the troops and their attitude is the same. They don't believe in concentration camps, they don't believe in the starved children of Greece, in the shot hostages of France, in the mass-graves of Poland; they have never heard of Lidice, Treblinka or Belzec; you can convince them for an hour, then they shake themselves, their mental self-defence begins to work and in a week the shrug of incredulity has returned like a reflex temporarily weakened by a shock. Clearly all this is becoming a mania with me and my like. Clearly we must suffer from some morbid obsession, whereas the others are healthy and normal. But the characteristic symptom of maniacs is that they lose contact with reality and live in a phantasy world. So, perhaps, it is the other way round: perhaps it is we, the screamers, who react in a sound and healthy way to the reality which surrounds us, whereas you are the neurotics who totter about in a screened phantasy world because you lack the faculty to face the facts. Were it not so, this war would have been avoided, and those murdered within sight of your day-dreaming eyes would still be alive.
Arthur Koestler
The risibility of our altruistic 'understanding' is rivalled only by the profound contempt it is designed to conceal. For 'We respect the fact that you are different' read: 'You people who are underdeveloped would do well to hang on to this distinction because it is all you have left' . (The signs of folklore and poverty are excellent markers of difference.) Nothing could be more contemptuous - or more contemptible - than this attitude, which exemplifies the most radical form of incomprehension that exists. It has nothing to do, however, with what Segalen calls 'eternal incomprehensibility' . Rather, it is a product of eternal stupidity - of that stupidity which endures for ever in its essential arrogance, feeding on the differentness of other people. Other cultures, meanwhile, have never laid claim to universality. Nor did they ever claim to be different - until difference was forcibly injected into them as part of a sort of cultural opium war. They live on the basis of their own singularity, their own exceptionality, on the irreducibility of their own rites and values. They find no comfort in the lethal illusion that all differences can be reconciled - an illusion that for them spells only annihilation. To master the universal symbols of otherness and difference is to master the world. Those who conceptualize difference are anthropologically superior - naturally, because it is they who invented anthropology. And they have all the rights, because rights, too, are their invention. Those who do not conceptualize difference, who do not play the game of difference, must be exterminated. The Indians of America, when the Spanish landed, are a case in point. They understood nothing about difference; they inhabited radical otherness. (The Spaniards were not different in their eyes: they were simply gods, and that was that.) This is the reason for the fury with which the Spaniards set about destroying these peoples, a fury for which there was no religious justification, nor economic justification, nor any other kind of justification, except for the fact that the Indians were guilty of an absolute crime: their failure to understand difference. When they found themselves obliged to become part of an otherness no longer radical, but negotiable under the aegis of the universal concept, they preferred mass self-immolation - whence the fervour with which they, for their part, allowed themselves to die: a counterpart to the Spaniards' mad urge to kill. The Indians' strange collusion in their own extermination represented their only way of keeping the secret of otherness.
Jean Baudrillard (The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena)
The German and Russian state apparatuses grew out of despotism. For this reason the subservient nature of the human character of masses of people in Germany and in Russia was exceptionally pronounced. Thus, in both cases, the revolution led to a new despotism with the certainty of irrational logic. In contrast to the German and Russia state apparatuses, the American state apparatus was formed by groups of people who had evaded European and Asian despotism by fleeing to a virgin territory free of immediate and effective traditions. Only in this way can it be understood that, until the time of this writing, a totalitarian state apparatus was not able to develop in America, whereas in Europe every overthrow of the government carried out under the slogan of freedom inevitably led to despotism. This holds true for Robespierre, as well as for Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. If we want to appraise the facts impartially, then we have to point out, whether we want to or not, and whether we like it or not, that Europe's dictators, who based their power on vast millions of people, always stemmed from the suppressed classes. I do not hesitate to assert that this fact, as tragic as it is, harbors more material for social research than the facts related to the despotism of a czar or of a Kaiser Wilhelm. By comparison, the latter facts are easily understood. The founders of the American Revolution had to build their democracy from scratch on foreign soil. The men who accomplished this task had all been rebels against English despotism. The Russian Revolutionaries, on the other had, were forced to take over an already existing and very rigid government apparatus. Whereas the Americans were able to start from scratch, the Russians, as much as they fought against it, had to drag along the old. This may also account for the fact that the Americans, the memory of their own flight from despotism still fresh in their minds, assumed an entirely different—more open and more accessible—attitude toward the new refugees of 1940, than Soviet Russia, which closed its doors to them. This may explain why the attempt to preserve the old democratic ideal and the effort to develop genuine self-administration was much more forceful in the United States than anywhere else. We do not overlook the many failures and retardations caused by tradition, but in any event a revival of genuine democratic efforts took place in America and not in Russia. It can only be hoped that American democracy will thoroughly realize, and this before it is too late, that fascism is not confined to any one nation or any one party; and it is to be hoped that it will succeed in overcoming the tendency toward dictatorial forms in the people themselves. Only time will tell whether the Americans will be able to resist the compulsion of irrationality or whether they will succumb to it.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
In 2006, researchers Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler created fake newspaper articles about polarizing political issues. The articles were written in a way that would confirm a widespread misconception about certain ideas in American politics. As soon as a person read a fake article, experimenters then handed over a true article that corrected the first. For instance, one article suggested that the United States had found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The next article corrected the first and said that the United States had never found them, which was the truth. Those opposed to the war or who had strong liberal leanings tended to disagree with the original article and accept the second. Those who supported the war and leaned more toward the conservative camp tended to agree with the first article and strongly disagree with the second. These reactions shouldn’t surprise you. What should give you pause, though, is how conservatives felt about the correction. After reading that there were no WMDs, they reported being even more certain than before that there actually were WMDs and that their original beliefs were correct. The researchers repeated the experiment with other wedge issues, such as stem cell research and tax reform, and once again they found that corrections tended to increase the strength of the participants’ misconceptions if those corrections contradicted their ideologies. People on opposing sides of the political spectrum read the same articles and then the same corrections, and when new evidence was interpreted as threatening to their beliefs, they doubled down. The corrections backfired. Researchers Kelly Garrett and Brian Weeks expanded on this work in 2013. In their study, people already suspicious of electronic health records read factually incorrect articles about such technologies that supported those subjects’ beliefs. In those articles, the scientists had already identified any misinformation and placed it within brackets, highlighted it in red, and italicized the text. After they finished reading the articles, people who said beforehand that they opposed electronic health records reported no change in their opinions and felt even more strongly about the issue than before. The corrections had strengthened their biases instead of weakening them. Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do this instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you. Coming or going, you stick to your beliefs instead of questioning them. When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens those misconceptions instead. Over time, the backfire effect makes you less skeptical of those things that allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
It serves the American socialists as a leading argument in their endeavor to depict American capitalism as a curse of mankind. Reluctantly forced to admit that capitalism pours a horn of plenty upon people and that the Marxian prediction of the masses' progressive impoverishment has been spectacularly disproved by the facts, they try to salvage their detraction of capitalism by describing contemporary civilization as merely materialistic and sham. Bitter attacks upon modem civilization are launched by writers who think that they are pleading the cause of religion. They reprimand our age for its secularism. They bemoan the passing of a way of life in which, they would have us believe, people were not preoccupied with the pursuit of earthly ambitions but were first of ali concerned about the strict observance of their religious duties. They ascribe ali evils to the spread of skepticism and agnosticism and passionately advocate a return to the orthodoxy of ages gone by. It is hard to find a doctrine which distorts history more radically than this antisecularism. There have always been devout men, pure in heart and dedicated to a pious life. But the religiousness of these sincere believers had nothing in common with the established system of devotion. It is a myth that the political and social institutions of the ages preceding modem individualistic philosophy and modem capitalism were imbued with a genuine Christian spirit. The teachings of the Gospels did not determine the official attitude of the governments toward religion. It was, on the contrary, thisworldly concems of the secular rulers—absolute kings and aristocratic oligarchies, but occasionally also revolting peasants and urban mobs—that transformed religion into an instrument of profane political ambitions. Nothing could be less compatible with true religion than the ruthless persecution of dissenters and the horrors of religious crusades and wars. No historian ever denied that very little of the spirit of Christ was to be found in the churches of the sixteenth century which were criticized by the theologians of the Reformation and in those of the eighteenth century which the philosophers of the Enlightenment attacked. The ideology of individualism and utilitarianism which inaugurated modern capitalism brought freedom also to the religious longings of man. It shattered the pretension of those in power to impose their own creed upon their subjects. Religion is no longer the observance of articles enforced by constables and executioners. It is what a man, guided by his conscience, spontaneously espouses as his own faith. Modern Western civilization is thisworldly. But it was precisely its secularism, its religious indifference, that gave rein to the renascence of genuine religious feeling. Those who worship today in a free country are not driven by the secular arm but by their conscience. In complying with the precepts of their persuasion, they are not intent upon avoiding punishment on the part of the earthly authorities but upon salvation and peace of mind.
Ludwig von Mises (Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution)
People with higher test scores tend to hold more pro-market attitudes and are more likely to see their way through a mass of complicated, ambiguous facts to the core insight. But are they more likely to actually vote? Are they more likely to actually influence policy by showing up on election day? Or instead are they more likely to come to the insight of economist Gordon Tullock, who stopped voting once he learned that he was more likely to die in an accident on the way to the voting booth than he was to change the outcome of the election?
Garett Jones (Hive Mind: How Your Nation's IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own)
Perhaps the only remaining attitude is one of waiting. By committing oneself to waiting, one neither blocks one's path toward faith (like those who defiantly affirm the void) nor besieges this faith (like those whose yearning is so strong, it makes them lose all restraint). One waits, and one's waiting is a hesitant openness, albeit of a sort that is difficult to explain.
Siegfried Kracauer (Das Ornament Der Masse: Essays: Weimar Essays)
Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. It's nothing to brag about. And those who preach faith and enable and elevate it are intellectual slave holders keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction. Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don't have all the answers to think that they do. Most people would think it's wonderful if you said, "I"m willing Lord. I'll do whatever you want me to do," Except that since there are no gods that are actually talking to us that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions and limitations and agendas. And anyone who tells you they know...they just KNOW what happens when you die, I can promise you that you don't. How can I be so sure? Because I don't know and you do not possess mental powers that I do not. The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude which is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble. And that's what man needs to be considering that human history is just littered with humans getting shit dead wrong. This is why rational people, anti-religionists must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those that consider themselves only moderately religious need to look in the mirror and realize that the solice and comfort that religion can bring you actually comes at a terrrible price. If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, mysogeny, homophobia, violence and sheer ignorance as relgion is, you'd resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife, for the true devils of extremism that draw their billions from their fellow travelers. If the world does come to an end here or ever or if it limps into the future descimated by the effects of the religion inspired nuclear terrorism, let's remember what the real problem was. That we learned how to precipitate mass death before we got past the neurological disorder of wishing for it. That's it. Grow up or die.
Bill Maher
Hitler, who sensed the undercurrent of admiration in hatred, drew a remarkable conclusion. It is of the utmost importance, he said, that the National Socialist should seek and deserve the violent hatred of his enemies. Such hatred would be proof of the superiority of the National Socialist faith. “The best yardstick for the value of his [the National Socialist’s] attitude, for the sincerity of his conviction, and the force of his will is the hostility he receives from the … enemy.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
For centuries the State has committed mass murder and called it “war”; then ennobled the mass slaughter that “war” involves. For centuries the State has enslaved people into its armed battalions and called it “conscription” in the “national service.” For centuries the State has robbed people at bayonet point and called it “taxation.” In fact, if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place. Let us consider, for example, what it is that sharply distinguishes government from all other organizations in society.
Murray N. Rothbard (For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto)
The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control—“indoctrination,” we might say—exercised through the mass media. One of the devices used to achieve this narrowness of perspective is the reliance on professional credentials. The universities and academic disciplines have, in the past, been successful in safeguarding conformist attitudes and interpretations, so that by and large a reliance on “professional expertise” will ensure that views and analyses that depart from orthodoxy will rarely be expressed.
Noam Chomsky (On Language: Chomsky's Classic Works Language and Responsibility and Reflections on Language in One Volume)
One of the great tragedies of man’s long trek along the highway of history has been the limiting of neighborly concern to tribe, race, class or nation.” The consequence of this narrow, insular attitude “is that one does not really mind what happens to the people outside his group.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
When capitalism thrives, we are assured, we thrive. The merging of the self with the capitalist collective has robbed us of our agency, creativity, capacity for self-reflection, and moral autonomy. We define our worth not by our independence or our character but by the material standards set by capitalism—personal wealth, brands, status, and career advancement. We are molded into a compliant and repressed collective. This mass conformity is characteristic of totalitarian and authoritarian states. It is the Disneyfication of America, the land of eternally happy thoughts and positive attitudes. And when magical thinking does not work, we are told, and often accept, that we are the problem. We must adjust. We must have more faith. We must be positive. We must envision what we want. We must try harder. The system is never to blame. We failed it. It did not fail us.
Chris Hedges (America: The Farewell Tour)
And we're cheerful, too. You can count on that.' Obligingly she smiled in a neighbourly way at him. 'It will be a relief to leave Earth with its repressive legislation. We were listening OH the FM to the news about the McPhearson Act.' 'We consider it dreadful,' the adult male said. 'I have to agree with you,' Chic said. 'But what can one do?' He looked around for the mail; as always it was lost somewhere in the mass of clutter. 'One can emigrate,' the adult male simulacrum pointed out. 'Um,' Chic said absently. He had found an unexpected heap of recent-looking bills from parts suppliers; with a feeling of gloom and even terror he began to bills from parts suppliers; with a feeling of gloom and even terror he began to sort through them. Had Maury seen these? Probably. Seen them and then pushed them away immediately, out of sight. Frauenzimmer Associates functioned better if it was not reminded of such facts of life. Like a regressed neurotic, it had to hide several aspects of reality from its percept system in order to function at all. This was hardly ideal, but what really was the alternative? To be realistic would be to give up, to die. Illusion, of an infantile nature was essential for the tiny firm's survival, or at least so it seemed to him and Maury. In any case both of them had adopted this attitude. Their simulacra -- the adult ones -- disapproved of this; their cold, logical appraisal of reality stood in sharp contrast, and Chic always felt a little naked, a little embarrassed, before the simulacra; he knew he should set a better example for them. 'If you bought a jalopy and emigrated to Mars,' the adult male said, 'We could be the famnexdo for you.' 'I wouldn't need any family next-door,' Chic said, 'if I emigrated to Mars. I'd go to get away from people. 'We'd make a very good family next-door to you,' the female said. 'Look,' Chic said, 'you don't have to lecture me about your virtues. I know more than you do yourselves.' And for good reason. Their presumption, their earnest sincerity, amused but also irked him. As next-door neighbours this group of sims would be something of a nuisance, he reflected. Still, that was what emigrants wanted, in fact needed, out in the sparsely-populated colonial regions. He could appreciate that; after all, it was Frauenzimmer Associates' business to understand. A man, when he emigrated, could buy neighbours, buy the simulated presence of life, the sound and motion of human activity -- or at least its ​mechanical nearsubstitute to bolster his morale in the new environment of unfamiliar stimuli and perhaps, god forbid, no stimuli at all. And in addition to this primary psychological gain there was a practical secondary advantage as well. The famnexdo group of simulacra developed the parcel of land, tilled it and planted it, irrigated it, made it fertile, highly productive. And the yield went to the it, irrigated it, made it fertile, highly productive. And the yield went to the human settler because the famnexdo group, legally speaking, occupied the peripheral portions of his land. The famnexdo were actually not next-door at all; they were part of their owner's entourage. Communication with them was in essence a circular dialogue with oneself; the famnexdo, it they were functioning properly, picked up the covert hopes and dreams of the settler and detailed them back in an articulated fashion. Therapeutically, this was helpful, although from a cultural standpoint it was a trifle sterile.
Philip K. Dick (The Simulacra)
Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people.
Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)
Many reasons have been put forward by sociologists, historians, and psychologists to explain the undeviating worship of group living and group thinking in America. James Bryce credited American conformity to uniform political institutions in federal, state, and municipal government. Everywhere schools, libraries, clubs, amusements, and customs were similar. "Travel where you will," he wrote, "you feel that what you have found in one place that you will find in another." Above all, there was the rapid advance in industrial science. In America, an all-powerful technology, with its standardized techniques and methods of mass production, reached its zenith. As technology attracted larger numbers of people to urban centers, and compressed them into smaller areas, community living became a necessity. This, in turn, encouraged people to co-operate, and created relationships that invite similar activities and opinions. Gradually there emerged on the American scene, against all natural development of culture and against all individual traits inherent in every man, two striking attitudes that made American conformity broader, more unyielding, and more dangerous. The first attitude, assumed by the majority, was that the act of becoming average, of being normal, was more important than that of being distinct or superior. The second attitude, also assumed by the majority, was that the state of being well adjusted to the crowd and the community was more important than that of being a unique and original human being.
Irving Wallace (The Square Pegs: Some Americans Who Dared to Be Different)
Page 247: We must not infer from [the decline of religion] that rationalistic or scientific education has made any great progress in the lower classes. A person may not only question the truth of religious doctrines—he may also be convinced that all religions are historical phenomena born of innate and profound needs of the human spirit, and that attitude may be arrived at through a realistic mental training based on comprehensive studies that has gradually accustomed the mind not to accept as true anything that is not scientifically proved. In such a case, on losing one system of illusions, the individual is left so well balanced that he will not be inclined to embrace another, and certainly not the first that comes along. But the mass of lower-class unbelievers that we have in nations of European civilization today—and also, it must be confessed, the great majority of unbelievers who are not exactly lower-class, do not arrive at rationalism over any such road. They disbelieve, and they scoff, simply because they have grown up in environments in which they have been taught to disbelieve and to scoff. Under those circumstances, the mind that rejects Christianity because it is based on the supernatural is quite ready to accept other beliefs, and beliefs that may well be cruder and more vulgar. The workingman in Paris, Barcelona, Milan, the farm laborer in Romagna, the shopkeeper in Berlin, are at bottom no more emancipated from the ipse dixit than they would be if they went to mass, to a Protestant service or to the synagogue. Instead of believing blindly in the priest they believe blindly in the revolutionary agitator.
Gaetano Mosca (The Ruling Class)
What Eva Moskowitz appears to have created is something unprecedented in contemporary education: a mechanism for a critical mass of engaged and invested low-income families of color to self-select into schools where their attitudes, values, and ambitions for their children make them culture keepers and drivers, not outliers.
Robert Pondiscio (How The Other Half Learns: Equality, Excellence, and the Battle Over School Choice)
At that time men went off to school to prepare themselves for the uplift of a downtrodden people. In our time too many Negroes go to school to memorize certain facts to pass examinations for jobs. After they obtain these positions they pay little attention to humanity. This attitude of the “educated Negro” toward the masses results partly from the general trend of all persons toward selfishness,
Carter G. Woodson (The Mis-Education of the Negro)
To maximize pleasure and to minimize pain - in that order - were characteristic Enlightenment concerns. This generally more receptive attitude toward good feeling and pleasure would have significant long-term consequences. It is a critical difference separating Enlightenment views on happiness from those of the ancients. There is another, however, of equal importance: that of ambition and scale. Although the philosophers of the principal classical schools sought valiantly to minimize the role of chance as a determinant of human happiness, they were never in a position to abolish it entirely. Neither, for that matter, were the philosophers of the eighteenth century, who, like men and women at all times, were forced to grapple with apparently random upheavals and terrible reversals of forture. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 is an awful case in point. Striking on All Saints' Day while the majority of Lisbon's inhabitants were attending mass, the earthquake was followed by a tidal wave and terrible fires that destroyed much of the city and took the lives of tens of thousands of men and women. 'Quel triste jeu de hasard que le jeu de la vie humaine,' Voltaire was moved to reflect shortly thereafter: 'What a sad game of chance is this game of human life.' He was not alone in reexamining his more sanguine assumptions of earlier in the century, doubting the natural harmony of the universe and the possibilities of 'paradise on earth'; the catastrophe provoked widespread reflection on the apparent 'fatality of evil' and the random occurrence of senseless suffering. It was shortly thereafter that Voltaire produced his dark masterpiece, Candide, which mocks the pretension that this is the best of all possible worlds. And yet, in many ways, the incredulity expressed by educated Europeans in the earthquake's aftermath is a more interesting index of received assumptions, for it demonstrates the degree to which such random disasters were becoming, if not less common, at least less expected. Their power to shock was magnified accordingly, but only because the predictability and security of daily existence were increasing, along with the ability to control the consequences of unforeseen disaster. When the Enlightened Marquis of Pombal, the First Minister of Portugal, set about rebuilding Lisbon after the earthquake, he paid great attention to modern principles of architecture and central planning to help ensure that if such a calamity were to strike again, the effects would be less severe. To this day, the rebuilt Lisbon of Pombal stands as an embodiment of Enlightened ideas. Thus, although eighteenth-century minds did not - and could not - succeed in mastering the random occurrences of the universe, they could - and did - conceive of exerting much greater control over nature and human affairs. Encouraged by the examples of Newtonian physics, they dreamed of understanding not only the laws of the physical universe but the moral and human laws as well, hoping one day to lay out with precision what the Italian scholar Giambattista Vico described as a 'new science' of society and man. It was in the eighteenth century, accordingly, that the human and social sciences were born, and so it is hardly surprising that observers turned their attention to studying happiness in similar terms. Whereas classical sages had aimed to cultivate a rarified ethical elite - attempting to bring happiness to a select circle of disciples, or at most to the active citizens of the polis - Enlightenment visionaries dreamed of bringing happiness to entire societies and even to humanity as a whole.
Darrin M. McMahon (Happiness: A History)
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REFLECTION 1. How would you describe your own attitude toward cities? Indifferent? Hostile? Romanticized? Positive? In what way has this chapter challenged your attitude toward cities? not be drawn to such masses of humanity if we care about the same things that God cares about?” What are some of the reasons that people avoid ministry in the city? What are some of the reasons that they are attracted to urban ministry? 2. Cities are places of safety, diversity, and productivity. How do each one of these characteristics uniquely define urban culture? 4. How can you and the community of believers to which
Timothy J. Keller (Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City)
The war had democratized the world in a wholly unforeseen and unintended way. Since the war could be conducted only by complete mobilization of the whole people and all their resources, the whole people was called upon for the first time in history to participate in public life. Almost everywhere the franchise was vastly extended. The age limit was reduced, women were enfranchised. Overnight the pre-1914 voting population was turned into a minority as against the new voters...These new masses had a new position vis-à-vis the government and state, a different idea of the power and purpose of government, a different attitude toward money, budgets, social rights, and privileges.
Gustav Stolper (This Age of Fable: The Political and Economic World We Live In)
Since many—too many—of our children’s values and attitudes are formed by the mass media, every parent ought to offer an informal multiyear course in media literacy.
Alfie Kohn (The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting)
Nazism, fascism, and communism were belief systems adopted passionately by millions of well-educated men and women. Taken together, all of the totalitarian ideologies were self-contained and delivered through a one-way flow of propaganda that prevented the people who were enmeshed in the ideology from actively participating in challenging its lack of human values. Unfortunately, the legacy of the twentieth century’s ideologically driven bloodbaths has included a new cynicism about reason itself—because reason was so easily used by propagandists to disguise their impulse to power by cloaking it in clever and seductive intellectual formulations. In an age of propaganda, education itself can become suspect. When ideology is so often woven into the “facts” that are delivered in fully formed and self-contained packages, people naturally begin to develop some cynicism about what they are being told. When people are subjected to ubiquitous and unrelenting mass advertising, reason and logic often begin to seem like they are no more than handmaidens for the sophisticated sales force. And now that these same techniques dominate the political messages sent by candidates to voters, the integrity of our democracy has been placed under the same cloud of suspicion. Many advocacy organizations—progressive as well as conservative—often give the impression that they already have exclusive possession of the truth and merely have to “educate” others about what they already know. Resentment toward this attitude is also one of the many reasons for a resurgence of the traditional anti-intellectual strain in America. When people don’t have an opportunity to interact on equal terms and test the validity of what they’re being “taught” in the light of their own experience, and share with one another in a robust and dynamic dialogue that enriches what the “experts” are telling them with the wisdom of the groups as a whole, they naturally begin to resist the assumption that the experts know best. If well-educated citizens have no effective way to communicate their ideas to others and no realistic prospect of catalyzing the formation of a critical mass of opinion supporting their ideas, then their education is for naught where the vitality of our democracy is concerned.
Al Gore (The Assault on Reason)
Signaling theory of propaganda ... states that authoritarian governments engage in seemingly unproductive and wasteful propaganda activities not to imbue the masses with pro-government attitudes, but to demonstrate their strength in social control. In fact, for this demonstration of strength to be well taken, propaganda almost needs to be dull and unpersuasive, so as to make sure that most citizens will know precisely that it is propaganda when they see it, and hence get the implicit message.
Haifeng Huang
Why do authoritarian governments engage in propaganda that does not induce belief and persuasion? The common understanding of political propaganda is that it is a means to indoctrinate the masses with pro-regime values and attitudes. But for indoctrination to be effective, one has to be convinced by the content of propaganda. Pretentious propaganda that does not induce persuasion is at odds with this goal. In this paper I propose that propaganda is often not used for indoctrination, but rather to signal the government’s strength in maintaining social control and political order. More specifically, by being able to afford significant resources to present a unified propaganda message and impose it on citizens, a government that has a strong capacity in maintaining social control and political order can send a credible signal about this capacity and distinguish itself from a weak government, hence implicitly intimidating the masses who may otherwise contemplate about challenging the regime. In other words, such propaganda is not meant to “brainwash” people with its specific content about how good the government is, but to forewarn the society about how strong it is via the act of the propaganda itself.
Haifeng Huang
Some propaganda may not influence the masses’ political values and attitudes, but can nevertheless affect their behavior and promote regime stability by displaying the government’s strength, capacity, and resources. ... Propaganda that does and does not induce persuasion can be respectively called “soft propaganda” and “hard propaganda.
Haifeng Huang
The need for security and power riding on energies that should be making life better and easier for the masses remains a great error in leadership focus. Why should the discovery of uranium’s potential become a curse instead of a blessing? I am sure any type of power (nuclear and leadership included) in the wrong hands has the unfortunate potential to become a curse. A lot more is involved, including greed that causes the wealthy to sponsor violence and chaos. All, in order to profit from conflict, yet disregarding the harm caused to the vulnerable majority.
Archibald Marwizi (Making Success Deliberate)
The lack of knowledge on the part of followers perpetuates a culture of abuse by bad leadership. Every day, issues are being endorsed in the name of standing for the ignorant masses, only to benefit those who sponsor the agendas. Priorities are set and resources allocated, never to benefit or reach those cited as the underlying justification for sourcing the funds or setting the priorities.
Archibald Marwizi (Making Success Deliberate)
It was Lippmann who gave us the concept of the “stereotype” (1922), which was basically a continuation of the Jungian concept of the archetype (1919) by other means. To Lippmann, the world outside our borders exists in a different space, consciously, from our own. We develop notions about life in those countries, their cultures, attitudes, and values, without ever go­ing there. Yet, their political situation affects our own; they exert a political influence—either through trade, communications, or transportation—on life in our own country even though we live in a constant state of unawareness of those countries, cultures, politics. The effect of these forces on us is invis­ible, but real. We then develop mental images—stereotypes—of the citizens of these countries, and it is upon the stereotypes that we act. The stereotypes determine our actions and reactions; like the stereotypes of the Islamic fun­damentalist, the Vietcong revolutionary, the Red Peril, they are easy targets, and the stereotype communicates a specific message, is, in terms familiar to the deconstructionism of Derrida, a text. Stereotypes can be created, and manipulated, by the gurus of mass com­munication and psychological warfare. Stereotypes are culturally-loaded and therefore not “value neutral.” We make snap judgments based on the nature of the stereotype; in the hands of the psy-war expert, a stereotype does not contain much complexity or depth. The idea is not to make the target think too clearly or too profoundly about the “text” but instead to react, in a Pav­lovian manner, to the stimulus it provides.
Jim Hougan (Sinister Forces-The Nine: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft (Sinister Forces: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft))
The anthropologist Elliot Liebow observed it in the men he chronicled in Tally’s Corner, his insightful 1967 book on the lives and attitudes of poor black men who hung out on a sidewalk in the nation’s capital: “Convinced of their inadequacies, not only do they not seek out those few better-paying jobs which test their resources, but they actively avoid them, gravitating in a mass to the menial, routine jobs which offer no challenge—and therefore pose no threat—to the already diminished images they have of themselves.
David Cay Johnston (Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality)
The people in their overwhelming majority are so feminine by nature and attitude that sober reasoning determines their thoughts and actions far less than emotion and feeling. And this sentiment is not complicated, but very simple and all of a piece. It does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie, never half this way and half that way, never partially, or that kind of thing.
Adolf Hitler (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
Cynics have observed that those who have benefited the most from “progress”—the citizens of the First World—are the people most inclined to disdain it. The privileged few who eat better, lead longer and more stimulating lives because of modern agriculture, medicine, education, mass communications, and travel, and are most cushioned from physical discomfort and inconvenience by industrial technology are the most nostalgic about the primitive world. This attitude is more difficult to find among the real “victims of progress” in the Third World except among members of these nations’ Western-educated elites.
Lawrence H. Keeley (War before Civilization)
— it is necessary to educate them from an early age to cultivate a life of faith through prayer, through the Mass, and through association with the various Catholic youth clubs and other similar organizations. It is absolutely necessary to give them a sense of God and the awareness of the existence of sin and the Devil, the tempter who wishes to lead us to a separation from God and therefore to death. These young people, then, when they become older, will probably have developed the right attitudes toward these sects and satanic practices. I am aware that it involves a difficult form of education, but let us always remember that, because of the total absence of beautiful and good ideals, young people today are more exposed to these dangers. When faith disappears, one abandons himself to superstition and occultism.
Gabriele Amorth (An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels)
However, I have a stronger hunch that the greatest part of the important biomedical research waiting to be done is in the class of basic science. There is an abundance of interesting fact relating to all our major diseases, and more items of information are coming in steadily from all quarters in biology. The new mass of knowledge is still formless, in complete, lacking the essential threads of connection, displaying misleading signals at every turn, riddled with blind alleys. There are fascinating ideas all over the place, irresistible experiments beyond numbering, all sorts of new ways into the maze of problems. But every next move is unpredictable, every outcome uncertain. It is a puzzling time, but a very good time. I do not know how you lay out orderly plans for this kind of activity, but I suppose you could find out by looking through the disorderly records of the past hundred years. Somehow, the atmosphere has to be set so that a disquieting sense of being wrong is the normal attitude of the investigators. It has to be taken for granted that the only way in is by riding the unencumbered human imagination, with the special rigor required for recognizing that something can be highly improbable, maybe almost impossible, and at the same time true. Locally, a good way to tell how the work is going is to listen in the corridors. If you hear the word, "Impossible!" spoken as an expletive, followed by laughter, you will know that someone's orderly research plan is coming along nicely.
Lewis Thomas
What is concerned here is not the morale of the masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself.
George Orwell (1984)
Most striking, perhaps, is the overwhelming evidence that implicit bias measures are disassociated from explicit bias measures.45 In other words, the fact that you may honestly believe that you are not biased against African Americans, and that you may even have black friends or relatives, does not mean that you are free from unconscious bias. Implicit bias tests may still show that you hold negative attitudes and stereotypes about blacks, even though you do not believe you do and do not want to.46
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Given these attitudes and lack of attendance, it is hardly surprising that the German masses (and most Europeans) were ignorant of even basic Christian facts.
Rodney Stark (Reformation Myths: Five Centuries Of Misconceptions And (Some) Misfortunes)
The Renaissance was the culture of a wealthy and powerful upper class, on the crest of the wave which was whipped up by the storm of new economic forces. The masses who did not share the wealth and power of the ruling group had lost the security of their former status and had become a shapeless mass, to be flattered or to be threatened—but always to be manipulated and exploited by those in power. A new despotism arose side by side with the new individualism. Freedom and tyranny, individually and disorder, were inextricably interwoven. The Renaissance was not a culture of small shopkeepers and petty bourgeois but of wealthy nobles and burghers. Their economic activity and their wealth gave them a feeling of freedom and a sense of individually. But at the same time, these same people had lost something: the security and feeling of belonging which the medieval social structure had offered. They were more free, but they were also more alone. They used their power and wealth to squeeze the last ounce of pleasure out of life; but in doing so, they had to use ruthlessly every means, from physical torture to psychological manipulation, to rule over the masses and to check their competitors within their own class. All human relationships were poisoned by this fierce life-and-death struggle for the maintenance of power and wealth. Solidarity with one's fellow man—or at least with the members of one's own class—was replaced by a cynical detached attitude; other individuals were looked upon as "objects" to be used and manipulated, or they were ruthlessly destroyed if it suited one's own ends. The individual was absorbed by a passionate egocentricity, an insatiable greed for power and wealth. As a result of all this, the successful individual's relation to his own self, his sense of security and confidence were poisoned too. His own self became as much an object of manipulation to him as other persons had become. We have reasons to doubt whether the powerful masters of Renaissance capitalism were as happy and as secure as they are often portrayed. It seems that the new freedom brought two things to them: an increased feeling of strength and at the same time an increased isolation, doubt, scepticism, and—resulting from all these—anxiety. It is the same contradiction that we find in the philosophical writings of the humanists. Side by side with their emphasis on human dignity, individuality, and strength, they exhibited insecurity and despair in their philosophy.
Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom)
I couldn’t help but smile when my Aunt Bailey answered her phone. “Hey, Liv, whose ass do I need to beat?” “Why do you assume that’s why I’m calling?” I asked with a laugh. It was the first time I had smiled in days. But with Bailey and her spunky attitude, it was hard to avoid. “Because darlin’, I got you figured out. You sent out a mass message to us stating you were studying for finals. You’ve neglected to respond to any messages that followed, and that spells out one thing. Trouble on the college guy front.” I could hear a baby squealing happily in the background. “So I’m gonna ask again. Do I need to catch a plane to Texas and beat the shit out of this Keeton guy I’ve been hearing so much about?” “Are you there?” I asked, because it wasn’t like Bailey to remain so quiet. “Um, yeah,” she said in return. I could hear clicking sounds as if she was typing on a keyboard. “I’m just checking flights to Texas, because this Lacy bitch needs to meet your Aunt Bailey.” “You need to make this Lacy realize she won’t run you off.” I sat silent, letting everything Bailey said sink in. “If he’s who you want, Liv.” I bit down on my lower lip. “If Keeton is who you want, then you have to show her he’s yours.” “I do,” I whispered. I had never felt about anyone else the way I felt about Keeton. But my fear was that the man I was already falling for was a man I didn’t even know.
C.A. Harms (Olivia's Ride (Sawyer Brothers, #4))
About a year before, Kitty and Lydia had embraced CrossFit, the intense strength and conditioning regimen that involved weight lifting, kettle bells, battle ropes, obscure acronyms, the eschewal of most foods other than meat, and a derisive attitude toward the weak and unenlightened masses who still believed that jogging was a sufficient workout and a bagel was an acceptable breakfast.
Curtis Sittenfeld (Eligible)
Postwar America would bear no more similarity to prewar America than the Restoration Monarchy bore to Revolutionary France; what would emerge would be a vast, impersonal juggernaut of industrial cartels, a mountainous administrative bureaucracy and a prestigious military junta—and beneath these, far beneath, an emotional and highly subservient citizenry whose attitudes and actions would be created, aroused, manipulated, subverted by the roar of the mass media … it was so clear! Why couldn’t the dunderheads see it? Whoever could see it—whoever rode this wave deftly, keeping just ahead of its boiling crest—would hold the future securely in his fine right hand
Anton Myrer (Once an Eagle)
Remembering then is not a matter of literally reduplicating the past. . . . In fact, if we consider evidence rather than presupposition, remembering appears to be far more decisively an affair of construction rather than one of mere reproduction. Remembering is not the re-excitation of innumerable fixed, lifeless, and fragmentary traces. It is an imaginative reconstruction, or construction, built out of the relation of our attitude towards a whole active mass of organized past reactions or experience, and to a little outstanding detail which commonly appears in image or in language form. It is thus hardly ever really exact, even in the most elementary cases of rote recapitulation.
Bart D. Ehrman (Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior)
The ability to carry into the future thousands of applications from the past placed NT in a class of its own in the brief history of personal computing. But the Windows personality enabled NT to keep one foot in the past. This was the great departure. Computer makers previously had forced customers to adopt an abandon-ship attitude to their past applications software. To achieve a higher level of performance, customers were asked to leave everything behind (they could still use their old software if they were willing to essentially sacrifice the innovations in their new ship). Microsoft itself had essentially made this pitch when it initially introduced OS/2 in 1987. The failure of OS/2 left a deep impression on Gates; it gave him a better sense of the shock of the new, of just how much innovation the mass of PC owners could accept at once. Customers wanted to carry the past into the future, so NT must support old applications. Achieving
G. Pascal Zachary (Showstopper!: The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft)
Plus d’État mais seulement la société, plus de principe mais seulement une gestion des pulsions sociales, et au centre un gentil organisateur, un plancton dont les obsessions quantitativo-statistiques abolissent la sphère de la politique et la remplacent par le néant d’un babillage démagogique non si­gnifiant, purement phonique, phatique, autour duquel la presse s’onanise et le public bée. La vocation intellectuelle, ar­tistique et spirituelle de l’homme disparaît sous les coups du nivellement de masse, car l’homme n’est ici qu'un travailleur, le rouage d’une énergie productrice qu’il faut rendre opéra­tionnel le plus rapidement possible ; on lui invente un collège unique dont disparaît progressivement toute connaissance vé­ritable, un lieu d’abrutissement intellectuellement définalisé, d’éducation technique de groupe, afin que toutes les espèces et catégories du troupeau puissent parvenir plus largement au degré de qualification qui les asservira au quantitatif, tandis que le monde entier afflue à Microcéphalopolis afin de rem­plir les cases laissées vides. Les chiffres broient l’homme, la matière est placée au-dessus de l’esprit, la technique au-dessus du savoir, l’intérêt au-dessus de toute gratuité ; plus d’hon­neur, de civilité, de générosité, plus de famille, plus d’amitié. Dans ce contexte le mélange culturel s’inscrit non comme une louable ouverture mais comme la colonisation d’un espace in­tellectuel vide parce que volontairement déserté. Microcéphalopolis s'identifie à ce désert pour devenir jungle, elle veut n’être que friche et fiche, elle veut n’être rien, elle vénère les raclées, elle nie ses origines sauf pour s’inventer de mythologiques fautes où peut ainsi s’exercer sa haine de soi, c’est-à-dire de la spiritualité dont elle devrait être porteuse. Elle est cette nation devenue elle-même femelle et que ses attitudes de mo­rue exposent continuellement au viol. Refusant de porter un quelque regard sur sa situation, se félicitant de tout ce qui n'est pas sa nature et dont elle se remplit, elle tend sa croupe à tout vent et enfonce la tête dans le sable en des manières d'autruche dénégatrice et nymphomane.
Maxence Caron
Hannah Arendt, the best and most philosophically inclined of the commentators, is also, in regard to her ultimate conclusions, the worst, i.e., the most perversely wrong-headed. In a final warning, she singles out for special attack the attitude which she regards as a major source of the Nazis’ evil and of their success: an unswerving commitment to logic. The Nazis, she says, and the masses attracted to them, were “too consistent” in pursuing the implications of a basic premise (which she identifies as racism); they gave up the freedom of thought for “the strait jacket of logic” or “the tyranny of logicality”; they did not admit that complete consistency “exists nowhere in the realm of reality,” which is pervaded instead by “fortuitousness.
Leonard Peikoff (The Cause of Hitler's Germany)
and at the very bottom, a world of caverns whose walls are black with soot, a world of cesspools and sloughs, a world of grubs and beasts, of eyeless beings who drag animal carcasses behind them, of demoniacal monsters with bodies of birds, swine, and fish, of dried-out corpses and yellow-skinned skeletons arrayed in attitudes of the living, of forges manned by dazed Cyclopses in black leather aprons, their single eyes shielded by metal-rimmed blue glass, hammering their brazen masses into dazzling shields.
Georges Perec (Life: A User's Manual)
He thinks he will leave. School life is unreal. All this is unreal. He has had enough. He can’t bear his colleagues. He can’t bear the boys any more either; en masse, he thinks, they’re horrible, like haddocks. He has to get out. He’ll live on his writing. His last book did well. He’ll write more. He’ll take a cottage in Scotland and spend his days fishing for salmon. Perhaps he’ll take the barmaid with him as his wife, the dark-eyed beauty he’s been courting for months, though he’s only in love with her emotionally, so far, and he hasn’t got anywhere, really, and those long hours sitting at the bar reduce him too often to hopeless drunkenness. He drinks too much. He has drunk too much, and he has been unhappy for a long time. But things are certain to change. The notebook he writes in is grey. He’s stuck a photograph of one of his grass snakes on the cover, and written ETC above it in ink. The snake is suitable because this is his dream diary, though there are other things in it too: scraps of writing, lesson plans, line drawings of sphinxes and clawed dragons rampant, and the occasional stab at self-analysis: 1) Necessity of excelling in order to be loved.1 2) Failure to excel. 3) Why did I fail to excel? (Wrong attitude to what I was doing?)
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
Copious research attests to the disdain of whites for African Americans, from the school-to-prison pipeline, to mass incarceration, to white flight.4 For example, on attitude surveys, most whites say they would prefer neighborhoods that are no more than 30 percent black, and more than half of whites say they would not move into a neighborhood that is 30 percent black or more. Studies of actual mobility patterns not only confirm these preferences, but also show that whites downplay them. White flight has been triggered when a formerly white neighborhood reaches 7 percent black, and in neighborhoods with more than a few black families, white housing demand tends to disappear.5 (That is, the demand disappears unless white people need that housing because of unaffordable home prices in other neighborhoods. In that case, black people are pushed out as gentrification increases. Brooklyn, Harlem, Oakland, and Seattle are prime examples.)
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
the fact that you may honestly believe that you are not biased against African Americans, and that you may even have black friends or relatives, does not mean that you are free from unconscious bias. Implicit bias tests may still show that you hold negative attitudes and stereotypes about blacks, even though you do not believe you do and do not want to.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
As far as retribution for your crimes is concerned, Even Dharmaraja with his mighty stature Cannot stop the effects of your negative actions, The greatest of which was burning down the temple, And the smallest of which was the killing of lice. This is why you have accumulated [all] these [black] pebbles. So it is best if you prepare yourself to move on. [Get ready to] go swiftly on this black path! [There], the sealed copper cauldron [that awaits you] is wide and deep, The waves of boiling bronze are fierce, The fiery mass of past actions is intensely hot, And the messengers of Yama have scant mercy. Dharmaraja’s attitude is extremely fierce, The weapons of past actions are sharply pointed, And the black winds of past actions are very powerful. Now is the time for you to go to such a place! Though I really do have compassion for you, I am nonetheless very, very satisfied! You must carry on your back the weight and measure, Which you used as a fraudulent weight and measure! You must wear at your side the weapons With which you killed many sentient beings! You cannot deny or misrepresent these things! Now the time has come for you to go To the citadels of the eighteen hells.
Graham Coleman (The Tibetan Book of the Dead. First Complete English Translation)
Postwar America would bear no more similarity to prewar America than the Restoration Monarchy bore to Revolutionary France; what would emerge would be a vast, impersonal juggernaut of industrial cartels, a mountainous administrative bureaucracy and a prestigious military junta—and beneath these, far beneath, an emotional and highly subservient citizenry whose attitudes and actions would be created, aroused, manipulated, subverted by the roar of the mass media
Anton Myrer (Once an Eagle)
This issue of Stvar we dedicate to the anniversaries. Each effort that commences from historical years and epochal dates, however, is not only supposed to cope with the legacy and lessons of evoked events and figures, but also to question a certain (dominant) relation to the past and history. In other words, the task is not a commemorative one, that is, a fetishist relation to the epoch of decisive dates and big events, but rather the radical grasping of the materiality of history following its work where social contradictions require that fight for emancipation and progress is to be taken up. What is at stake here is not an academic requiem or a leftist memorial service to the era of revolutions and great revolutionaries; it is all about casting our gaze toward the past in order to better examine those moments where the past opens itself toward the future. The relation toward past, therefore, should contain perspectives of different future. Amputation of the future is nowadays one of the features of many current academic, scientific and ideological discourses. Once this perspective of different future has been eliminated, the resignification of Marx, Luxemburg, Kollontai, Lenin and others becomes possible, because their doctrines and results have been quite depoliticized. On the contrary, it is the memory that calls for struggle that is the main cognitive attitude toward the events remembered in the collected texts in this issue. Not nostalgic or collectionist remembrance but critical memory filled with hope. The main question, thus, is that of radical social transformations, i.e. theory and practice of revolution. In this sense, Marx, Kollontai, Lenin and other Bolsheviks, and Gramsci as well, constitute the coordinates in which every theoretical practice that wants to offer resistance to capitalist expansion and its ideological forms is moving. The year 1867, when the first Volume of Marx’s Capital is brought out in Hamburg, then October 1917 in Russia, when all power went to the hands of Soviets, and 1937, when Gramsci dies after 11 years of fascist prison: these are three events that we are rethinking, highlighting and interpreting so that perspective of the change of the current social relations can be further developed and carried on. Publishing of the book after which nothing was the same anymore, a revolutionary uprising and conquest of the power, and then a death in jail are the coordinates of historical outcomes as well: these events can be seen as symptomatic dialectical-historical sequence. Firstly, in Capital Marx laid down foundations for the critique of political economy, indispensable frame for every understanding of production and social relations in capitalism, and then in 1917, in the greatest attempt of the organization of working masses, Bolsheviks undermined seriously the system of capitalist production and created the first worker’s state of that kind; and at the end, Gramsci’s death in 1937 somehow symbolizes a tragical outcome and defeat of all aspirations toward revolutionizing of social relations in the Western Europe. Instead of that, Europe got fascism and the years of destruction and sufferings. Although the 1937 is the symbolic year of defeat, it is also a testimony of hope and survival of a living idea that inspires thinkers and revolutionaries since Marx. Gramsci also handed down the huge material of his prison notebooks, as one of the most original attempts to critically elaborate Marx’s and Lenin’s doctrine in new conditions. Isn’t this task the same today?
Saša Hrnjez (STVAR 9, Časopis za teorijske prakse / Journal for Theoretical Practices No. 9 (Stvar, #9))
Every belief in the value and worthiness of life rests upon defective thinking; it is for this reason alone possible that sympathy with the general life and suffering of mankind is so imperfectly developed in the individual. Even exceptional men, who can think beyond their own personalities, do not have this general life in view, but isolated portions of it. If one is capable of fixing his observation upon exceptional cases, I mean upon highly endowed individuals and pure souled beings, if their development is taken as the true end of world-evolution and if joy be felt in their existence, then it is possible to believe in the value of life, because in that case the rest of humanity is overlooked: hence we have here defective thinking. So, too, it is even if all mankind be taken into consideration, and one species only of impulses (the less egoistic) brought under review and those, in consideration of the other impulses, exalted: then something could still be hoped of mankind in the mass and to that extent there could exist belief in the value of life: here, again, as a result of defective thinking. Whatever attitude, thus, one may assume, one is, as a result of this attitude, an exception among mankind. Now, the great majority of mankind endure life without any great protest, and believe, to this extent, in the value of existence, but that is because each individual decides and determines alone, and never comes out of his own personality like these exceptions: everything outside of the personal has no existence for them or at the utmost is observed as but a faint shadow. Consequently the value of life for the generality of mankind consists simply in the fact that the individual attaches more importance to himself than he does to the world. The great lack of imagination from which he suffers is responsible for his inability to enter into the feelings of beings other than himself, and hence his sympathy with their fate and suffering is of the slightest possible description. On the other hand, whosoever really could sympathise, necessarily doubts the value of life; were it possible for him to sum up and to feel in himself the total consciousness of mankind, he would collapse with a malediction against existence,—for mankind is, in the mass, without a goal, and hence man cannot find, in the contemplation of his whole course, anything to serve him as a mainstay and a comfort, but rather a reason to despair. If he looks beyond the things that immediately engage him to the final aimlessness of humanity, his own conduct assumes in his eyes the character of a frittering away. To feel oneself, however, as humanity (not alone as an individual) frittered away exactly as we see the stray leaves frittered away by nature, is a feeling transcending all feeling. But who is capable of it? Only a poet, certainly: and poets always know how to console themselves.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Speech to the German Folk January 30, 1944 Without January 30, 1933, and without the National Socialist revolution, without the tremendous domestic cleansing and construction efforts, there would be no factor today that could oppose the Bolshevik colossus. After all, Germany was itself so ill at the time, so weakened by the spreading Jewish infection, that it could hardly think of overcoming the Bolshevik danger at home, not to mention abroad. The economic ruin brought about by the Jews as in other countries, the unemployment of millions of Germans, the destruction of peasantry, trade, and industry only prepared the way for the planned internal collapse. This was furthered by support for the continued existence of a senseless state of classes, which could only serve to transform the reason of the masses into hatred in order to make them the willing instrument of the Bolshevik revolution. By mobilizing the proletarian slaves, the Jews hoped that, following the destruction of the national intelligentsia, they could all the more reduce them for good to coolies. But even if this process of the Bolshevik revolt in the interior of Germany had not led to complete success, the state with its democratic Weimar constitution would have been reduced to something ridiculously helpless in view of the great tasks of current world politics. In order to be armed for this confrontation, not only the problems of political power but also the social and economic problems had to be resolved. When National Socialism undertook the realization of its program eleven years ago, it managed just in time to build up a state that did not only have the strength at home but also the power abroad to fulfill the same European mission which first Greece fulfilled in antiquity by opposing the Persians, then Rome [by opposing] the Carthaginians, and the Occident in later centuries by opposing the invasions from the east. Therefore, in the year 1933, we set ourselves four great tasks among many others. On their resolution depended not only the future of the Reich but also the rescue of Europe, perhaps even of the entire human civilization: 1. The Reich had to regain the internal social peace that it had lost by resolving the social questions. That meant that the elements of a division into classes bourgeoisie and proletariat-had to be eliminated in their various manifestations and be replaced by a Volksgemeinschaft. The appeal to reason had to be supplemented by the merciless eradication of the base elements of resistance in all camps. 2. The social and political unification of the nation had to be supplemented by a national, political one. This meant that the body of the Reich, which was not only politically, but also governmentally divided, had to be replaced by a unified National Socialist state, the construction and leadership of which were suited to oppose and withstand even the heaviest attacks and severest tests of the future. 3. The nationally and politically coherent centralized state had the mission of immediately creating a Wehrmacht, whose ideology, moral attitude, numerical strength, and material equipment could serve as an instrument of self-assertion. After the outside world had rejected all German offers for a limitation of armament, the Reich had to fashion its own armament accordingly. 4. In order to secure its continued existence in Europe with the prospect of actual success, it was necessary to integrate all those countries which were inhabited by Germans, or were areas which had belonged to the German Reich for over a thousand years and which, in terms of their national substance and economy, were indispensable to the preservation of the Reich, that is, for its political and military defense. Only the resolution of all these tasks could result in the creation of that state which was capable, at home and abroad, of waging the fight for its defense and for the preservation of the European family of nations.
Adolf Hitler
Yet, if they repudiated the social dogmas of their time as artificial, abstract, and far removed from real life, their own approach to building the good society could hardly be called pragmatic or empirical. Visionary utopians, the anarchists paid scant attention to the practical needs of a rapidly changing world; they generally avoided careful analysis of social and economic conditions, nor were they able or even willing to come to terms with the inescapable realities of political power. For the religious and metaphysical gospels of the past, they substituted a vague messianism which satisfied their own chiliastic expectations; in place of complex ideologies, they offered simple action-slogans, catchwords of revolutionary violence, poetic images of the coming Golden Age. By and large, they seemed content to rely on "the revolutionary instincts of the masses" to sweep away the old order and "the creative spirit of the masses" to build the new society upon its ashes. "Through a Social Revolution to the Anarchist Future!" proclaimed a group of exiles in South America; the practical details of agriculture and industry "will be worked out afterwards" by the revolutionary masses. Such an attitude, though it sprang from a healthy skepticism towards the ideological "blueprints" and "scientific laws" of their Marxist adversaries, could be of little help in setting a course of action designed to revolutionize the world.
Paul Avrich (The Russian Anarchists)
The exploitative sexual caste system could not be perpetuated without the consent of the victims as well as of the dominant sex, and such consent if obtained through sex role socialization - a conditioning process which beings to operate the moment we are born, and which is enforced by most institutions. Parents, friends, teachers, textbook authors and illustrators, advertisers, those who control the mass media, toy and clothes manufacturers, professionals such a doctors and psychologists - all contribute to the socialization process. This happens through dynamics that are largely uncalculated and unconscious, yet which reinforce the assumptions, attitudes, stereotypes, customs, and arrangements of sexually hierarchical society. The fact of womne's low caste status has been - and is - disguised. It is masked, first of all, by sex role segregation, as in a ghetto, for it makes possible the delusion that women should be "equal but different". Sexual caste is hidden also by the fact that women have various forms of *derivative status* as a consequence of relationships with men. That is, women have duality of status, and the derivative aspect of this status - for example, as daughters and wives - divides us against each other and encourages identification with patriarchal institutions which serve the interests of men at the expense of women. Finally sexual caste is hidden by ideologies that bestow false identities upon women and men. Patriarchal religion has served to perpetuate all of these dynamics of delusion, naming them "natural" and bestowing its supernatural blessings upon them. The system has been advertised as "according to the divine plan".
Mary Daly (Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation)
Philip had disdained humanity in the mass; he adopted the attitude of one who wraps himself in solitariness and watches with disgust the antics of the vulgar;
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage (The Unabridged Autobiographical Novel))
I feel very strongly, though, that this amorphous people are in desperate search for something which will help them to re-establish their connection with themselves, and with one another. This can only begin to happen as the truth begins to be told. We are in the middle of an immense metamorphosis here, a metamorphosis which will, it is devoutly to be hoped, rob us of our myths and give us our history, which will destroy our attitudes and give us back our personalities. The mass culture, in the meantime, can only reflect our chaos: and perhaps we had better remember that this chaos contains life—and a great transforming energy. (1959)
James Baldwin (The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings)
One day, Commissar Lei came to speak with Ye. By this time, Yang Weining and Lei Zhicheng had swapped places in her eyes. During those years, Yang, as the highest-ranked technical officer, did not enjoy a high political status, and outside of technical matters he had little authority. He had to be careful with his subordinates, and had to speak politely even to the sentries, lest he be deemed to have an intellectual’s resistant attitude toward thought reform and collaboration with the masses. Thus, whenever he encountered difficulties in his work, Ye became his punching bag. But as Ye gained importance as a technical staff member, Commissar Lei gradually shed his initial rudeness and coldness and became kind toward her
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
In the 1968 election, race eclipsed class as the organizing principle of American politics, and by 1972, attitudes on racial issues rather than socioeconomic status were the primary determinant of voters' political self-identification. The late 1960s and early 1970s marked the dramatic erosion in the belief among working-class whites that the condition of the poor, or those who fail to prosper, was the result of a faulty economic system that needed to be challenged.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
What happens is that people don’t know, and so they can’t help me,’ he was saying calmly. ‘But when they open their morning newspapers and see that thirty thousand elephants are being killed every year to make paper knives and billiard balls, and that there’s a man who's doing his damnedest to stop this mass murder, they’ll raise hell. When they hear that out of a hundred baby elephants captured for the zoos eighty die in the first days, you’ll see what public opinion will say. There's such a thing as popular feeling, you know. That’s the kind of thing that makes a government fall, I tell you. All that’s needed is for the people to know.’ ’It was intolerable. I listened gaping, absolutely struck dumb. The man had faith in us, totally and unshakably, and that was something, a faith in us that looked as strong, as natural, as irrational as the elements, as the sea or the wind — something, by God, that looked in the end like the force of truth itself. I had to make an effort to defend myself — not to succumb to that amazing naivete. He really believed that people still had the generosity, the heart, in the ugly times we live in, to worry not only about themselves, but about elephants as well. It was enough to make you weep. I stood there in silence, staring at him — admiring him, I should say — with that gloomy, obstinate expression of his, and that damned briefcase. Ridiculous, if you like, yet also disarming, because I felt he was completely convinced by all the beautiful things man has sung about himself in his moments of inspiration. And with it all, a pigheaded obstinacy — the revolting thoroughness of a schoolmaster who’s got it into his head that he’ll make humanity do its homework and would not hesitate to punish it if it misbehaved. You can see from what I say that he was a highly contagious man.
Romain Gary (The Roots of Heaven)
The shift to a general attitude of “toughness” toward problems associated with communities of color began in the 1960s, when the gains and goals of the Civil Rights Movement began to require real sacrifices on the part of white Americans,
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
needs the iron will, daring and vision of an exceptional leader to concert and mobilize existing attitudes and impulses into the collective drive of a mass movement.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
I know I saw nothing wrong with insurance fraud, just as I saw nothing wrong with drug smuggling, or with anything else I considered a victimless crime. Draft dodging, still well in the future for me but already upending the lives of the older brothers of friends, I vehemently endorsed. The Vietnam War was wrong, rotten to the core. But the military, the government, the police, big business were all congealing in my view into a single oppressive mass—the System, the Man. These were standard-issue youth politics at the time, of course, and I was soon folding school authorities into the enemy force. And my casual, even contemptuous attitude toward the law was mostly a holdover from childhood, when a large part of glory was defiance and what you could get away with. But a more conscious, analytic, loosely Marxist disaffection was also taking root in my politics in my midteens. (And disaggregating, intellectually and emotionally, the mass of institutional power—sorting out how things actually worked, beyond how they felt as a whole—would turn out to be the work of many years.) In the meantime, surfing became an excellent refuge from the conflict—a consuming, physically exhausting, joy-drenched reason to live. It also, in its vaguely outlaw uselessness, its disengagement from productive labor, neatly expressed one’s disaffection. Where was my sense of social responsibility? Not much in evidence. I marched in peace marches. I was still a good student, which really proved nothing except that I liked to read and was hedging my bets.
William Finnegan (Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life)
In Hitler’s words, the propagandist should adopt “a systematically one-sided attitude towards every problem that has to be dealt with.” He must never admit that he might be wrong or that people with a different point of view might be even partially right. Opponents should not be argued with; they should be attacked, shouted down, or, if they become too much of a nuisance, liquidated. The morally squeamish intellectual may be shocked by this kind of thing. But the masses are always convinced that “right is on the side of the active aggressor.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
and attitudes that would enable and encourage attempts at
Edmund S. Phelps (Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change)
Beginning in the 1970s, researchers found that racial attitudes—not crime rates or likelihood of victimization—are an important determinant of white support for “get tough on crime” and antiwelfare measures.90 Among whites, those expressing the highest degree of concern about crime also tend to oppose racial reform, and their punitive attitudes toward crime are largely unrelated to their likelihood of victimization.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Apparently, according to the criterion of consistency across targets, a prejudiced personality does indeed exist. Prejudice appeared to be less an attitude specific to one group than a general way of thinking about those who are different.
James Waller (Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing)
genuine individualism and constitutional republicanism, the latter two being obstacles to a centralized state in which it is claimed that governing authority exists at the behest of the people and for the good of the people. Let us remember, for the progressive, historical progress is said to be a process of never-ending cultural and societal adjustments intended to address the unique circumstances of the time, the ultimate goal of which is economic egalitarianism and the material liberation of “the masses.” Unlike most of Europe, the American attitude, experience, and governing system were not compatible with the progressive ideology.
Mark R. Levin (Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism)
There are other media too [the first being newspapers and control of information] whose basic social role is quite different. It’s diversion. There’s the real mass media, the kinds that are aimed at the guys who… Joe six-pack. That kind. The purpose of those media is just to dull people’s brain. This is an over-simplification, but for the 80 per cent or whatever they are, the main thing for them is to divert them. To get them to watch National Football League, and to worry about the… you know… mother with child with six heads, or whatever the thing you pick up on the supermarket stands, and so on. Or, you know, look at astrology, or get involved in fundamentalist stuff, or something. Just get them away you know. Get them away from things that matter. And for that, it’s important to reduce their capacity to think. Sports. That’s another crucial example of the indoctrination system in my view. For one thing, because it offers people something to pay attention to that is of no importance. That keeps them from worrying about things that matter to their lives that they might have some idea about doing something about. And in fact, it’s striking to see the intelligence that’s used by ordinary people in sports. You listen to radio sations where people call in. They have the most exotic information and understanding of all kinds of arcane issues, and the press undoubtedly does a lot with this. I remember in high school I suddenly asked myself at one point: Why do I care if my high school team wins the football game? I mean, I don’t know anybody on the team, you know. […] It doesn’t make any sense. But the point is, it does make sense. It’s a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority. And, you know, group cohesion behind… you know, leadership elements. In fact, it’s training in irrational jingoism. That’s also a feature of competitive sports. I think, if you look closely at those things, typically, they do have functions, and that’s why energy is devoted to supporting them, and creating basis for them, and advertisers are willing to pay for them.
Noam Chomsky
Culture is a vehicle for true self-expression. The flowering of individual creativity takes place in the context of culture. When a child becomes peer-oriented, the transmission lines of civilization are downed. The new models to emulate are other children or peer groups or the latest pop icons. Appearance, attitudes, dress, and demeanor all adapt accordingly. Even children's language changes — more impoverished, less articulate about their observations and experience, less expressive of meaning and nuance. Peer-oriented children are not devoid of culture, but the culture they are enrolled in is generated by their peer orientation. Although this culture is broadcast through media controlled by adults, it is the children and youth whose tastes and preferences it must satisfy. They, the young, wield the spending power that determines the profits of the culture industry — even if it is the parents’ incomes that are being disposed of in the process. Advertisers know subtly well how to exploit the power of peer imitation as they make their pitch to ever-younger groups of customers via the mass electronic media. In this way, it is our youth who dictate hairstyles and fashion, youth to whom music must appeal, youth who primarily drive the box office. Youth determine the cultural icons of our age. The adults who cater to the expectations of peer-oriented youth may control the market and profit from it, but as agents of cultural transmission they are simply pandering to the debased cultural tastes of children disconnected from healthy adult contact. Peer culture arises from children and evolves with them as they age. Peer orientation breeds aggression and an unhealthy, precocious sexuality. The result is the aggressively hostile and hypersexualized youth culture, propagated by the mass media, to which children are already exposed by early adolescence. Today's rock videos shock even adults who themselves grew up under the influence of the “sexual revolution.” As the onset of peer-orientation emerges earlier and earlier, so does the culture it creates. The butt-shaking and belly-button-baring Spice Girls pop phenomenon of the late 1990s, as of this writing a rapidly fading memory, seems in retrospect a nostalgically innocent cultural expression compared with the pornographically eroticized pop idols served up to today's preadolescents.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
This is American two-one-three to the cockpit voice recorder. Now we know what it’s like. It is worse than we’d ever imagined. They didn’t prepare us for this at the death simulator in Denver. Our fear is pure, so totally stripped of distractions and pressures as to be a form of transcendental meditation. In less than three minutes we will touch down, so to speak. They will find our bodies in some smoking field, strewn about in the grisly attitudes of death. I love you, Lance.” This time there was a brief pause before the mass wailing recommenced. Lance?
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
Hitler prepares his readers for this with precepts that turn on the fundamental principles that enable a leader to impose his personality on the masses. They prefer, he says, like women, a strong man to a weakling. They do not want to read; they need to be influenced by a living presence: “The great masses of a nation will always and only succumb to the force of the spoken word.” The leader himself can only generate passion in his followers if he has it himself: passion is the prerequisite of his leadership. He must have the fanatic's view of life. Writers, he says, are seldom leaders. Their attitude to their audience is too generalised and abstract. In
Roger Manvell (Doctor Goebbels: His Life and Death)
Confidence of a dedicated person, seems to be over-confidence to ordinary masses.
Abhijit Naskar (The Film Testament)
You may have had a thousand bad breaks, but don’t use that as an excuse to be negative. One good break can make up for all the bad breaks. One touch of God’s favor can catapult you further than you ever imagined. You may feel like you’re getting behind. You’re not where you thought you would be in life. Don’t worry; God knows how to make up for lost time. He knows how to accelerate things. Now you’ve got to do your part. Shake off a negative mentality. Shake off pessimism, discouragement, and self-pity. Get your fire back. Life is passing you by. You don’t have time to waste being negative. You have a destiny to fulfill. You have an assignment to accomplish. What’s in your future is greater than anything you’ve seen in your past. We need to get rid of Murphy’s Law and live by just the opposite. Your attitude should be: “If anything can go right today, it will go right and happen to me at the best time. Nothing will be as difficult as it looks. Nothing will take as long as it seems.” Why? You are highly favored. Almighty God is breathing in your direction. You’ve been anointed, equipped, and empowered. Some may claim I’m just getting hopes up, and trying to get people to be more positive. It’s true, and here’s why: God is a positive God. There is nothing negative about Him. If you’re negative, sour, or pessimistic, you’re going against the flow of God. When we fly from Houston to Los Angeles, it always takes thirty minutes longer to get there than it does to come home. It’s because the jet stream flows from west to east. When we’re headed there, there’s a large mass of air always blowing against us, slowing us down. The other day we had a 120-mile-per-hour headwind. The plane has to work harder, use more fuel, and expend more energy. But when we travel back home, it’s just the opposite. The jet stream is working in our favor, pushing us forward and making it easier, saving us time and energy. The same principles apply in life. When you are positive, hopeful, and expecting good things, you are in the jet stream of almighty God. Things will be easier. You will accomplish more, live happier, and see increase and favor. But when you are negative, discouraged, everything’s a struggle; you have to work harder and you can’t enjoy life.
Joel Osteen (You Can You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner)
Luther's personality as well as his teachings shows ambivalence toward authority. On the one hand he is overawed by authority—that of a worldly authority and that of a tyrannical God—and on the other hand he rebels against authority—that of the Church. He shows the same ambivalence in his attitude toward the masses. As far as they rebel within the limits he has set he is with them. But when they attack the authorities he approves of, an intense hatred and contempt for the masses comes to the fore. […] we shall show that this simultaneous love for authority and the hatred against those who are powerless are typical traits of the "authoritarian character.
Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom)
Much water has flown under Tiber's bridges, carrying away splendour and mystery from Rome, since the pontificate of Pius XII. The essentials, I know, remain firmly entrenched and I find the post-Conciliar Mass simpler and generally better than the Tridentine; but the banality and vulgarity of the translations which have ousted the sonorous Latin and little Greek are of a super-market quality which is quite unacceptable. Hand-shaking and embarrassed smiles or smirks have replaced the older courtesies; kneeling is out, queueing is in, and the general tone is rather like a BBC radio broadcast for tiny tots (so however will they learn to put away childish things?) The clouds of incense have dispersed, together with many hidebound, blinkered and repressive attitudes, and we are left with social messages of an almost over-whelming progressiveness. The Church has proved she is not moribund. ‘All shall be well,’ I feel, ‘and all manner of things shall be well,’ so long as the God who is worshipped is the God of all ages, past and to come, and not the idol of Modernity, so venerated by some of our bishops, priests and mini-skirted nuns.
Alec Guinness (Blessings in Disguise)
But the problems of perpetuating a hierarchical society go deeper than this. There are only four ways in which a ruling group can fall from power. Either it is conquered from without, or it governs so inefficiently that the masses are stirred to revolt, or it allows a strong and discontented Middle group to come into being, or it loses its own self-confidence and willingness to govern. These causes do not operate singly, and as a rule all four of them are present in some degree. A ruling class which could guard against all of them would remain in power permanently. Ultimately the determining factor is the mental attitude of the ruling class itself.
Anonymous
Before Rylee could respond, Morgan’s hand came down on the bare flesh of her ass, and she screamed with the surprise.  Her skin bloomed into a burning mass of pain. “I hate you,” she spit at him, wiggling around to free herself. “You said you weren’t going to hurt me.” “All you have to do is relax,” Morgan reminded her softly. “Just lose that attitude, princess, and it will all be okay. Besides, you’re not hurt. You might even find out you really like it. If you let yourself.” “Go to hell.
Lucia Jordan (F*ck Buddy)
Beginning in the 1970s, researchers found that racial attitudes—not crime rates or likelihood of victimization—are an important determinant of white support for “get tough on crime” and antiwelfare measures.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
The Vietnam war was wrong, rotten to the core. But the military, the government, the police, big business were all congealing in my view into a single, opressive mass -- The System, The Man. These were standard issue youth politics at the time, of course, and I was soon folding school authorities into the enemy force. And my casual, even contemptuous attitude toward the law was mostly a holdover from childhood, when a large part of glory was defiance and what you could get away with.
William Finnegan (Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life)
I pondered the significance of my personal annihilation for the next several months, facing down an existentialist abyss of oblivion and meaningless within me. Eventually, through some unconscious process of recalibration, I returned to my basic attitude that all is as it should be. There is no other way I can describe it: no mountaintop conversion or flash of deep insight, but a sentiment that suffuses my life. I wake up each morning to find myself in a world full of mystery and beauty. And I'm profoundly thankful for the wonder of it all. Here I am, a highly organized pattern of mass and energy, one of seven billion, insignificant in any objective accounting of the world. And in short while I will case to exist. What am I to the universe? Practically nothing. Yet the certainty of my death makes my life more significant. My joy in life, in my children, my love to dogs, running and climbing, books and music, the cobalt blue sky, are meaningful because I will come to an end. And that is as it should be. I do not know what will come afterward, if there is an afterward in the usual sense of the world, but whatever it is, I know in my bones that everything is for the best.
Christof Koch (Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist)
The individual is considered part of the mass and included in it (and so far as possible systematically integrated into it) because in that way his psychic defenses are weakened, his reactions are easier to provoke, and the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the ma*s and, at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group. Emotionalism, impulsiveness, excess, etc. — all these characteristics of the individual caught up in a mass are well known and very helpful to propaganda. Therefore, the individual must never be considered as being alone; the listener to a radio broadcast, though actually alone, is nevertheless part of a large group, and he is aware of it.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
Re-integrating the revolutionaries The transition from one type of propaganda to the other is extremely delicate and difficult. After one has over the years excited the masses, flung them into adventures, fed their hopes and their hatreds, opened the gates of action to them and assured them that all their actions were justified, it is difficult to make them re-enter the ranks, to integrate them into the normal framework of politics and economics. What has been unleashed cannot be brought under control easily, particularly habits of violence or of taking the law into one's own hands—these disappear very slowly. This Is all the more true because the results achieved by revolution are usually deceptive; just to seize puwer is not enough - The people want to give full vent to the hatred developed by agitation propaganda and to have the promised bread or land immediately. And the troops that helped in the seizure of power rapidly become the opposition and continue to act as they did under the influence of subversion propaganda. The newly established government must then use propaganda to eliminate these difficulties and to prevent the continuation of the battle. But this must be propaganda designed to incorporate individuals into the "New Order," transform their opponents into collaborators of the State, to make them accept delays in the fulfillment of promises — in other words, it must be integration propaganda...The government must follow the crowds, which cannot be held back once they are set off; the government is forced, step by step, to satisfy appetites aroused by agitation propaganda.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
Outdated words and words that penetrate like bullets The terms, the words, the subjects that propaganda utilizes must have in themselves the power to break the barrier of the individual's indifference. They must penetrate Like bullets; they must spontaneously evoke a set of images and have a certain grandeur of their own. To circulate outdated words or pick new ones that can penetrate only by force is unavailing, for timeliness furnishes the "operational words" with their exclusive and affective power. Part of the power of propaganda is due to its use of the mass media, but this power will be dissipated if propaganda relies on operational words that have lost their force.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
The urban isolated individual An individual can be influenced by forces such as propaganda only when he is cut off from membership in local groups because such groups are organic and have a well-structured material, spirltual and emotional life; they are not easily penetrated by propaganda. For example, it is much more difficult today for outside propaganda to influence a soldier integrated into a military group, or a militant member of a monolithic party, than to influence the same man when he is a mere citizen. Nor is the organic group sensitive to psychological contagion, which is so important to the success of Nazi propaganda. One can say generally, that 19th century individualist society came about through the disintegration of such small groups as the family or the church. Once these groups lost their importance, the individual was substantially isolated. He was plunged into a new environment generally urban and thereby "uprooted." He no longer had a traditional place in which to live. He was no longer geographically attached to a fixed place, or historically to his ancestry. An individual thus uprooted can only be part of a mass- He is on his own, and individualist thinking asks of him something he has never been required to do before: that he, the individual, become the measure of all things. Thus he begins to judge everything for himself. In fact he must make his own judgments. He is thrown entirely on his own resources; he can find criteria only in himself. He is clearly responsible for his own decisions, both personal and social. He becomes the beginning and the end of everything. Before him there was nothing; after him there will be nothing. His own life becomes the only criterion of justice and injustice, of Good and Evil. The individual is placed in a minority position and burdened at the same time with a total crushing responsibility. Such conditions make an individualist society fertile ground for modern propaganda. The permanent uncertainty, the social mobility, the absence of sociological protection and of traditional frames of reference — all these inevitably provide propaganda with a malleable environment that can be fed information from the outside and conditioned at will. The individual left to himself is defenseless the more so because he may be caught up in a social current thus becoming easy prey for propaganda. As a member of a small group he was fairly well protected from collective influences, customs, and suggestions. He was relatively unaffected by changes in the society at large.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
Propaganda and urban density Thus for propaganda to be effective psychologically and sociologically, a combination of demographic phenomena is required. The first is population density, with a high frequency of diversified human contacts, exchanges of opinions and experienced and with primary importance placed on the feeling of togetherness. The second is urban concentration, which, resulting from the fusion between mass and crowd, gives the maas its psychological and sociological character. Only then can propaganda utilize crowd effects; only then can it profit from the psychological modifications that collective life produces in the individual and without which practically none of the propaganda would "take." Much more, the instruments of propaganda find their principal source of support in the urban concentration.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
The leader as Hero The leader or expert who enjoys authority and prestige among the mass is the man who best speaks for that mass. The ordinary man must see himself reflected in his leader. The leader must be a sublimation of the "ordinary man " He must not seem to be of a different quality. The ordinary man must not feel that the leader transcends him. This quality of the average men in the Hero (actor, dictator, sports champion) has been clearly demonstrated in the history of the past thirty years. It is what E. Morin emphasizes in his study of the deification of film stars. When a man follows the leader, he actually follows the mass, the majority group that the leader so perfectly represents. The leader loses all power when he is separated from his group; no propaganda can emanate from a solitary leader.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
For propaganda to succeed, a society must first have two complementary qualities: It must be both an individualist and a mass society. These two qualities are often considered contradictory. It is believed that an individualist society, in which the individual is thought to have a higher value than the group tends to destroy groups that limit the individual's range of action, whereas a mass society negates the individual and reduces him to a cipher. But this contradiction is purely theoretical and an illusion. In actual fact, an individualist society must be a mass society, because the first move toward liberation of the individual is to break up the small groups that are an organic fact of the entire society. In this process the individual frees himself completely from family, village, parish or brotherhood bonds - only to find himself directly vis-a-vis the entire society. When individuals are not held together by local structures, the only form in which they can live together is in an unstructured mass society, Similarly, a mass society can only be based on individuals — that is on men in their isolation, whose identities are determined by their relationships with one another. Precisely because the individual claims to be equal to all other individuals he becomes an abstraction and is in effect reduced to a cipher.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
Primary education and suscepitibility to propganda Actually, the most obvious result of primary education in the 19th and 20th centuries was to make the individual susceptible to super-propaganda. There is no chance of raising the intellectual level of Western populations sufficiently and rapidly enough to compensate for the progress of propaganda. Propaganda techniques have advanced so much faster than the reasoning capacity of the average man that to close this gap and shape this man intellectually outside the framework of propaganda is almost impossible. In fact what happens and what we see all around us is the claim that propaganda itself is our culture and what the masses ought to learn. Only in and through propaganda have the masses access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. Primary education makes it possible to enter the realm of propaganda, in which people then receive their intellectual and cultural environment.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
Pure individualist society We are no longer in a sociological situation comparable to that of traditional societies in which there was barely any mass propaganda and almost nothing other than local psychological influences. And when propaganda did enter into such societies, it had to fight existing local groups and try to influence and modify them; and these organic groups resisted. At present we are witnessing the emergence of organic groups in which individuals tend to be integrated. These groups have certain traits of the old organic groups, but their collective life, their intellectual, emotional, and spiritual life is determined by propaganda and they can no longer maintain themselves without it. They become organic groups in the mass society only if they subject themselves to, and serve as agents of, propaganda. Our society has been completely transformed: when we left the purely individualist stage, which permitted propaganda to develop, we arrived at a society in which primary group structures could still exist but in which total propaganda was established and the group no longer could be separated from such propaganda.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
Christopher Lasch explains the process by which the therapeutic segment of the managerial elite win moral acceptance. Despite the fact that its claims to be providing “mental health” where always self-serving and highly subjective, the theapeutic class offered ethical leadership in the absence of shared principles. By defining emotional well-being as both a social good and the overcoming of what is individually and collectively dangerous, the behavioral scientists have been able to impose their absolutes upon the culturally fluid society. In “The True and Only Heaven” Lasch explores the implications for postwar politics of the “Authoritarian Personality.” A chief contributor to this anthology, Theodro Adorno, abandoned his earlier work as a cultural critic to become a proponent of governmentally imposed social therapy. According to Lasch, Adorno condemns undesirable political attitudes as “prejudice” and “by defining prejudice as a ‘social disease’ substituted a medical for a political idiom. In the end, Adorno and his colleagues “relegated a broad range of controversial issues to the clinic – to scientific study as opposed to philosophical and political debate.
Paul Edward Gottfried (After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State)
If the subjective consciousness prefers the ideas and opinions of collective consciousness and identifies with them, then the contents of the collective unconscious are repressed. The repression has typical consequences: the energy-charge of the repressed contents adds itself, in some measure,124 to that of the repressing factor, whose effectiveness is increased accordingly. The higher its charge mounts, the more the repressive attitude acquires a fanatical character and the nearer it comes to conversion into its opposite, i.e., an enantiodromia. And the more highly charged the collective consciousness, the more the ego forfeits its practical importance. It is, as it were, absorbed by the opinions and tendencies of collective consciousness, and the result of that is the mass man, the ever-ready victim of some wretched “ism.” The ego keeps its integrity only if it does not identify with one of the opposites, and if it understands how to hold the balance between them
C.G. Jung (The Collected Works of C.G. Jung)
Perhaps the only remaining attitude is one of waiting. By committing oneself to waiting, one neither blocks one's path toward faith (like those who defiantly affirm the void) nor besieges this faith (like those whose yearning is so strong, it makes them lose all restraint). One waits, and one's waiting is a hesitant openness, albeit of a sort that is difficult to explain.
Siegfried Kracauer (Das Ornament Der Masse: Essays: Weimar Essays)